Alexander: 6,000 Knoxville Families Lose Out On College Aid Every Year Because Of Overly Complicated Form

Hosts forum at Pellissippi State Community College to discuss plan to cut complex 108-question federal financial aid form down to 2-question postcard

Posted on October 21, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 21 – Joined by University of Tennessee president Joseph DiPietro and Johnson University president Gary Weedman, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander today hosted Knoxville-area high school and college students, parents and guidance counselors at a forum to discuss his plan to slash the complex federal financial aid form—the FAFSA—from 108 questions down to two. 

“Each year, 6,000 Knoxville-area families lose out on federal financial aid for college because they’re discouraged by an overly complicated form—my proposal would eliminate this obstacle to college by cutting that form from 108 questions down to two,” Alexander said. “There are 440,000 Tennessee families already filling out the form each year, and if we simplify the form, even more Tennesseans will be able to take advantage of Governor Haslam's promise that two years of community college are tuition free.”

Alexander has proposed, with Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a draft bill to simplify the process of applying for and receiving federal financial aid to attend college, allow year-round use of Pell Grants, discourage over-borrowing and simplify repayments.

The bill would reduce to a single postcard—called the “Student Aid Short Form”—the questions any student must answer to apply for federal financial aid and inform high school students in their junior year of the amount they’ll receive in federal aid to help pay for college. It would also address the problem of some students borrowing too much money, and simplify the options students have to repay their federal loans. The legislation would also streamline federal grant and loan programs to better serve more students more effectively. 

Today’s forum, held at Pellissippi State, included guidance counselors from Bearden High School and Temple Baptist Academy, as well as students from Bearden High School and Pellissippi State.

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