ERIC Number: ED496648
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan-23
The Student Aid Gauntlet: Making Access to College Simple and Certain. Final Report of the Special Study of Simplification of Need Analysis and Application for Title IV Aid
Stone, Jeneva E., Ed.
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance
Millions of students and adult learners who aspire to college are overwhelmed by the complexity of student aid. Uncertainty and confusion rob them of its significant benefits. Rather than promote access, student aid often creates a series of barriers--a gauntlet that the poorest students must run to get to college. Replacing complexity with a steady stream of encouragement that makes access to college simple and certain is a top priority of Congress and the higher education community. Congress mandated this simplification study as part of the current reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in order to identify and eradicate major sources of complexity in student aid. This study found that sweeping and cost effective simplification initiative could significantly improve access and increase the return on the nation's already sizable investment in student aid. To dismantle this gauntlet, four imperatives have emerged: (1) empower students to make sound decisions about higher education; (2) make it easy to ensure students get their financial aid; (3) lose the paper to create an integrated web-based student aid system; and (4) work together in forging creative public-private access partnerships. These four imperatives are translated into ten recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Education that, if implemented, will result in direct benefits to all students and families, but especially to the very poorest. Eight of the ten recommendations do not require an increase in program costs. Aspects of two of the recommendations require a small investment that, if necessary, can be phased in over several years. Appended are: (1) List of Abbreviations; (2) Contributing Panelists; (3) EZ FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Prototype; and (4) Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance Members and Staff. (Contains 59 endnotes and 2 exhibits.)
Descriptors: Higher Education, Federal Aid, Educational Policy, Adult Students, Adult Learning, Student Financial Aid, Organizational Effectiveness, Student Empowerment, Decision Making, Access to Education, Efficiency, Computer Uses in Education, Computer Mediated Communication, Government School Relationship, Partnerships in Education
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. 80 F Street NW Suite 413, Washington, DC 20202-7582. Tel: 202-219-2099; Fax: 202-219-3032; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.ed.gov/acsfa
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, Washington, DC.