Peters Cosponsors Legislation to Reform Application Process for Student Aid

WASHINGTON DC— U.S. Senator Gary Peters today announced that he has cosponsored the Simplifying Financial Aid for Students Act of 2015 to streamline the federal financial aid application process and reform the eligibility requirements for federal student loans to ensure more students have the opportunity to attend college. 

“Higher education increases economic opportunity and provides a pathway to the middle class for young people across Michigan and the nation,” said Senator Peters. “I am proud to support this commonsense legislation that will help simplify the federal student aid process for students pursuing a higher education.”  

The Department of Education requires the previous year’s tax information in order to complete loan and grant applications, but most students are forced to send in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form before they or their parents have filed their taxes for the prior year, which can delay the application process. The Simplifying Financial Aid for Students Act of 2015 would allow students to apply for federal loans and grants based on tax information from two years prior. The legislation would also reduce the income threshold for the assumed  automatic zero expected family contribution (EFC) from $23,000 to $30,000 for both independent and dependent students. The EFC is subtracted from a student’s cost of attendance to determine eligibility for federal financial assistance. An automatic zero EFC assumes no family contribution.

Increasing higher education access and affordability for all Michiganders is a top priority for Senator Peters. Peters introduced the bipartisan FAIR Student Credit Act to help private student loan borrowers rehabilitate defaulted loans and remove the default from their credit report after making a series of on-time payments. Earlier this year, he also helped introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, legislation to allow borrowers with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates available to new borrowers.