Earlier today, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) introduced the Heightening Opportunities for Pathways to Education (HOPE) for FAFSA Act, a bill which would streamline and shorten the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for millions of low-income students. In the 2017-2018 application cycle alone, nearly 19 million prospective students filled out the FAFSA, which is the first step to receiving federal financial aid towards their education, and received $105 billion in assistance.
In response to today’s bill introduction, Matthew Eckel, Director of Policy Research for Young Invincibles, released the following statement:
“While the FAFSA can be the first step to an affordable higher education for students, it can also be a major obstacle for young people as they explore their educational opportunities after high school. In 2019, only 61 percent of graduating high school graduates completed the FAFSA, meaning nearly 40 percent of the class of 2019 weren’t able to explore their financial options to pursue a higher education. Each year, more than $24 billion in total student aid is left on the table that could help prospective students finance their higher education. Congress is long overdue to act and ensure every student has the chance to further their education by pursuing a degree with they financial aid they need to do so.
Elected leaders on both sides of the aisle agree that the FAFSA is far too complicated, and the HOPE for FAFSA Act would help streamline the process for low-income students and students facing the most roadblocks to a higher education. Making these resources easier for students to access could mean thousands more students are able to pursue a higher education each year.
A higher education is the best path to financial security, and the HOPE for FAFSA Act will make it easier for low-income students to understand their options and afford their tuition. We applaud Rep. McBath for her leadership on this issue, and call on Congress to pass this bill to ensure everyone has access to a quality, affordable education.”