December 05, 2019

Senate Passes Hassan-Backed Bipartisan Measure to Simplify Process for Applying for Federal Financial Aid

Bipartisan Legislation Cosponsored by Hassan Included in Larger Education Package That Passed the Senate Today

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today unanimously approved an education package that included measures from a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Senator Hassan that will make it easier for Granite Staters and Americans to apply for federal financial aid. The underlying package reauthorizes critical funding for Historically Black Colleges/Universities and other Minority-Serving Institutions.

“Access to higher education is central to the American promise—that anyone who works hard can get ahead and stay ahead. Unfortunately, the high cost of higher education can serve as a roadblock, which is why I am pleased that the Senate is moving ahead with bipartisan legislation I cosponsored to help make it easier to apply for financial aid,” Senator Hassan said. “I will continue working with members of both parties to ensure that higher education is affordable and accessible to all Americans.”

The bipartisan Faster Access to Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act, included in the education package that passed the Senate today, would make it easier for students in New Hampshire and across the country to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by having the Internal Revenue Service securely send the Department of Education their federal tax information with one click. In addition to simplifying the process for filing the FAFSA, the legislation would also make the process for some student loan borrowers to pay back their loans more efficient. This education package now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval.

As a member of the Health, Labor, Education, and Pensions Committee, Senator Hassan is working with members of both parties to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, including measures to simplify, expand, and improve the federal financial student aid process. Senator Hassan previously sent a separate letter with a number of her colleagues raising concerns that following passage of the 2017 tax law, changes to the core 1040 tax form disrupted functions of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students to automatically and accurately fill in their family’s tax information on their FAFSA form for student aid. In a response to the Senators, the Department of Education stated that it “intends to implement a solution” for the 2021-2022 FAFSA cycle. Recently, Senator Hassan led a bipartisan letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling for an immediate mid-cycle patch to the current FAFSA form so that students’ access to financial aid is not disrupted.

 

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