The Department of Education will extend restrictions to some requirements to verify a free application for federal student aid. If the department did not extend the restrictions, more than 100,000 students could be forced to suspend or leave postgraduate education, a statement said Wednesday.
The FAFSA test, a process used by colleges and universities to validate data provided in the form of federal financial aid, has been shown to cause disproportionately great harm to low-income students who have suffered most from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Education says the denials will eliminate the “administrative burden” for colleges and allow them to focus their resources on helping more students at risk to attend college.
“Financial aid administrators across the country are making good use of these denials and, as last year, will be quick to hand out dollars of financial aid to students who would otherwise be embroiled in red tape,” said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association. administrators of financial aid to students.
The denials, which are temporary, were first introduced in July 2021 as an attempt to curb the decline in enrollment during the pandemic. The waivers will be extended to the 2022-23 FAFSA cycle.