Alexander: Tennessee an Example for All States, as 7 Out of 10 HS Seniors Filed Federal Student Aid Applications Last School Year

“The next step is for Congress to simplify the 108-question FAFSA, helping students overcome this complex obstacle and achieve the dream of attending college”

Posted on August 31, 2016

NASHVILLE, August 19, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Tennessee is “setting an example for all states,” as 70 percent of Tennessee high school seniors filed a FAFSA form for financial aid last school year—more than any other state.

“Not only is Tennessee’s free community college program a model for other states, but our state is setting an example for others with its assistance to students in filling out the complex, dreaded FAFSA so they can take advantage of Tennessee Promise,” Alexander said. “The next step is for Congress to simplify the 108-question FAFSA, helping students overcome this complex obstacle and achieve the dream of attending college.”

Tennessee Promise guarantees every Tennessee high school graduate two years of tuition-free community college. To participate, students must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—the FAFSA—a complex form of 108 questions.

The aid form’s complexity discourages millions of students from applying for aid each year, according to experts. “The president of Southwest Tennessee Community College has said he loses 1,500 students each semester because they’re too intimidated by the form,” Alexander said. “The state is working hard to reduce that by helping students fill out the form, and I’m working hard to pass legislation that will simplify the form.”

Alexander has introduced the FAST Act with a bipartisan group of senators to reduce the form to as few as two questions.  

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