U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, reintroduced the Improving Middle Class Access to Higher Education Act to improve overall access to student financial aid by removing unnecessary barriers that complicate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process.
The bill, H.R. 2595, would align requirements for the FAFSA’s Simplified Needs Test with the income thresholds used by the IRS to qualify individuals for simplified tax forms, according to a news release. Kinzinger argued that this would help middle-class families and students complete the application without the “additional, burdensome, complicated questions that are intended for those with more complex financial situations.”
Millions of students and their families fill out the FAFSA each year, Kinzinger said, but the completion rate among high school seniors has been about 60% for the past few years. This, he said, leaves billions of dollars of financial assistance going unclaimed.
“We need to make sure more Americans have the education and training they need to fill these open jobs,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “I’m proud that my bill ... will help students looking to pursue their education by improving the process of filling out the FAFSA.”
Kinzinger introduced the bill with bipartisan support from his original co-sponsor, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, who also co-led the introduction of the bill in the last Congress.
“Education is a crucial opportunity and this legislation is one way we can help more Americans achieve a brighter future,” Kinzinger said.