U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, introduced a bipartisan bill last week meant to help students applying to receive financial aid in college.
H.R. 6349, titled the “Improving Middle Class Access to Higher Education Act,” would increase the income limit to qualify for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Simplified Needs Test from $50,000 to $100,000. Incoming and current college students fill out the FAFSA before each academic year to qualify for financial aid.
The bill aims to increase overall access to financial aid by aligning the FAFSA Simplified Needs Test with IRS income thresholds.
Kinzinger argued the bill would help middle class families and students move forward in the application without any “additional, burdensome, complicated questions,” according to a news release.
“As our economy continues to grow and unemployment falls, businesses are clamoring for skilled workers to fill open jobs,” Kinzinger said in the release. “Getting more Americans the education and training they need to fill these jobs is crucial to creating a 21st century workforce, and I’m proud that my bill ... will remove a burdensome barrier for middle-class students filling out the FAFSA.”
The release noted while Kinzinger introduced the bill, it has bipartisan support with original cosponsors Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New York, and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio.
The bill would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 and would take effect 2018-19 and each year after that.