Many higher education advocates and experts declared the FUTURE Act a major win for college financial aid – but how exactly will the legislation passed in Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump affect students seeking aid in the coming cycles?
This law has an impact on prospective and current students as well as some graduates with federal student loans. While students can expect unpredictability when paying for college in 2020 and some minor changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, this cycle, significant changes resulting from the FUTURE Act may take a few years, experts say.
What Is the FUTURE Act?
The FUTURE Act, or the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act, received bipartisan support in Congress for various measures, including permanently funding historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, and simplifying the FAFSA, making the application shorter and the process for filing it less manual.
A family’s federal income tax information is required on the FAFSA, but prior to the passage of this legislation, the U.S. Department of Education was limited in its ability to gather data directly from the Internal Revenue Service.
Now thanks to improved sharing mechanisms outlined in the FUTURE Act, instead of requiring applicants to manually answer questions about their income and financial situation on the FAFSA, tax information will be automatically transferred directly from the IRS to the Department of Education, potentially eliminating at least 22 questions on the application.
In previous years about 60% of high school seniors filed the FAFSA by graduation, but advocates say simplifying and shortening the application may improve accessibility and completion rates.
For the full article click here: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/what-future-act-means-for-fafsa-income-driven-repayment
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