Suzan Shows Up for Students
Last week, my House colleagues and I passed the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide permanent funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). The FUTURE Act also included my bipartisan bill the Faster Access for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act.
Washington is ranked 48th in the nation in FAFSA application completion among high school seniors, meaning millions of dollars in federal support to help pay for college are left on the table due to the burdensome process of filling out the FAFSA form. The current system used by parents and students to transfer the income and tax information they need from the IRS to the Department of Education involves multiple data transfers, which can be unsecure and time-consuming. For borrowers on income-driven repayment programs, this process must be repeated annually. Unfortunately, because the process is so complex, 19 percent of borrowers on income-driven plans fail to verify their income on time which can result in higher monthly-payments, hardship-related forbearance, or even deferment.
The FAFSA Act streamlines the process by eliminating multiple data-transfers and allowing the IRS to send tax and income information directly to the Department of Education. That’s fewer steps for borrowers, and a safer transfer of their sensitive income-related data. Additionally, the FAFSA Act allows borrowers to certify these income information transfers automatically each year, lessening the burden for millions of parents and students across the country. Ultimately, my bill will make applying and repaying FAFSA loans what it is supposed to be: an easier process that promotes, rather than prevents, students from pursuing higher education.
As always, I am here to help you. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085. For more updates on what I’m doing for WA01, you can follow me on social media at the links above.