A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill to reduce the current 108 questions on the form for federal student aid to just two.
Those would be: What is your family size? What was your household income two years ago?
The “Student Aid Short Form” would be a postcard and would let high school students know in their junior year via a reference table how much college aid they’ll receive.
The sponsors are Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Angus King (I-Maine).
“Simplifying the overly complicated federal aid application and giving students and parents the opportunity to receive aid information easier and earlier will be an important tool in helping them choose a postsecondary institution that is right for them,” said Isakson. “Additionally, by protecting students from over-borrowing and helping them to better understand their repayment options, students will be better equipped to responsibly repay their loans.”
The bill would also consolidate current student loan programs and restore year-round Pell grant availability.
Sponsors say it would discourage overborrowing by tailoring the amount available to how much you’re in school that semester. A part-time student, for example, would be able to take out a part-time loan only.
Repayment plans would also be streamlined. Students would either get a 10-year repayment plan or an income-based repayment plan.