Thu. Feb 25th, 2021

over many years, Colleges, federal and state agencies, and scholarship providers have worked together to simplify and streamline the process for obtaining and receiving financial aid. But this year, students and colleges are facing new hurdles as they scramble to comply with the US Department of Education’s guidance on who can and will share student-authorized data.

Last September, the department banned schools to create another unnecessary enclosure to jump students, along with other financial aid institutions, even with the Student Authority, along with other financial aid institutions For a long time, guiding and practicing the existing law. Order to get their financial aid information.

The financial aid process does not stop when a student submits on their free application for federal student aid known as FAFSA. Many students seek student aid from federal grants with additional loans and grants from state grant programs, local and community organizations, private sector companies and philanthropic organizations. To qualify for these funds, students must actively seek scholarship opportunities, which can be a job for themselves.

Once they have done all the hard work to find, apply for, and qualify for funding, the final step is usually the cost of their attendance to the scholarship or grant provider of their college’s financial aid office, calculated as expected. Providing with family contributions and personal information. Other assistance has been provided to them.

Political cartoon on economy

In many schools it has been a long practice to seek written permission from a student before providing any data to institutions outside the university that requests such information to process private scholarships, loans or other public benefits. But of the department New guidance Prevents schools from coordinating with these external financial aid providers, halting this efficient process.

Now, students must obtain their own financial aid data from the school and send it in person to any external institution that will use it to provide additional financial aid.

Students are confused as to why they can no longer authorize the Office of Financial Aid to coordinate with all outside scholarship providers. In an effort to help students, some schools are going to give students a printout of their financial aid information, an envelope containing it, and point them to the nearest post office box – an absurd workaround that solves Will laughs if it wasn’t the poster child for the type of incompetent, redundant bureaucracy that Washington is known for.

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Called on The Department of Education to reconsider its position on FAFSA data sharing and issue its new guidance in writing. And while the department has promised written guidance on the subject citing bureaucratic procedures, to date none has been released. All the while students miss potentially scarce financial aid dollars.

We live in a time where data security is a real concern. Implementing measures to protect student data is paramount, but doing so must be balanced against the actual costs of additional complexity that accrue to all students in the way they receive financial aid to which they are entitled. With so much congressional attention to simplicity, and efforts being made by the department over the years to simplify the application process, this latest policy is a decisive step in the wrong direction.

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