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Rep. Chu Introduces Bill to Streamline Access to Student Aid

Rep. Judy Chu. – Courtesy photo

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the Streamlining FAFSA Act of 2017. This bill would ensure that all students are eligible to benefit from the Automatic Zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) when applying for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“As a former educator, I know that financial aid can change students’ lives by unlocking opportunities for higher education and learning that may have once seemed out of reach. But when it comes to applying for federal aid to attend college, not all students are treated equally. Students who are veterans, foster youth, or over the age of 24, and do not have dependents of their own, are ineligible for the Automatic Zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an important feature of the FAFSA that immediately qualifies eligible applicants for the maximum Pell Grant. Many of these students are balancing careers while furthering their education, often through part-time attendance at a local community college or public university. The most recent data shows that nearly 70 percent of these students earn under $25,000 per year. But for them, applying for federal student aid can involve more uncertainty than for other students, even for those with the greatest financial need.

“The Streamlining FAFSA Act of 2017 would improve the application process and close this gap by ensuring that all low-income students applying for assistance to pay for college can benefit from the Automatic Zero EFC. Veterans, foster youth, and adults without dependents deserve the same certainty as other students that they will receive the assistance they need to afford higher education.”

The text of the Streamlining FAFSA Act of 2017 can be found here. This bill is supported by the Center for American Progress (CAP), the National College Access Network (NCAN), and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

November 16, 2017

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