Reps. García and McBath Introduce Legislation to Simplify the Federal Financial Aid Application Process for Students

September 17, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) and Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06) introduced H.R. 4245, the HOPE for FAFSA Act of 2019, to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reduce the complexity and length of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The bill is endorsed by the National College Access Network (NCAN), National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Young Invincibles, and Excelencia in Education.

“Navigating the college application process is hard enough, particularly when you’re the first in your family to attend. Applying for the financial assistance that students in our communities need should not be an added burden, but too often it is. Congress should tear down the barriers that prevent students from applying for financial aid to ensure college accessibility and affordability for everyone. The Hope for FAFSA Act will simplify this process and give more students the opportunity to attend college, including many without the ability to do so otherwise,” said Congressman García.

“Every hardworking American deserves a chance at an affordable education,” Congresswoman McBath said. “Students and their families spend long hours navigating the over-complicated financial aid process. The HOPE for FAFSA Act will simplify that system and make it easier for our kids to get the financial aid they need. I’m proud to support this legislation to make the college application process easier for American families.”

The HOPE for FAFSA Act creates three pathways in the FAFSA application based on the family’s or the student’s income level. Families with an adjusted gross income of $34,000 or less, and beneficiaries of Means-Tested Federal benefit program such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will have an expected family contribution (EFC) of zero, which signals that the applicant has no ability to contribute to the cost of college. Using current eligibility  for a public benefit program to determine an applicant’s EFC of zero, reduces hassles for struggling families and makes the process more efficient.

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