Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Chat Topic: FAFSA Public Comment

On August 28th, Federal Student Aid announced the availability of the 2015-16 draft version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Student Aid Report (SAR) for public comment. Comments are due by October 27th. This will be the basis for our September #FAchat.

You can review and/or submit comments by searching Docket ID number ED-2014-ICCD-0126 at or by linking directly to the page at!docketDetail;D=ED-2014-ICCD-0126.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) attached several draft documents for which it is accepting comments that you can download: the 15-16 paper FAFSA, the 15-16 SAR, and the 15-16 SAR Acknowledgement. You can also download the supporting statement and related material.  There have already been comments that you can also review and comment on the comments page.

We encourage you to review the draft documents and supporting materials prior to the chat. As a ground rule for this particular chat, our discussion will be limited to a practical application of what ED is able to do for the 2015-16 aid year given the current legal framework. For example, it would be out of the scope of this discussion to suggest that the FAFSA be simplified to only a fraction of the questions currently on the form that are currently required by federal law. We hope things will change in the future to make the form simpler, but we're looking to spur a discussion this month on meaningful and practical changes for the 15-16 application materials that ED can implement.

We hope you will join us in discussing some practical changes for the 2015-16 FAFSA and submit your own comments to ED. All parties with an interest in how students finance higher education are welcome to join!

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