The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on a new policy change that will make the process of applying for federal student aid less cumbersome. The U.S. Education Department is reducing the percentage of student aid applications that are selected for “verification”—an additional and lengthy review step requiring more paperwork and typically required of 30 percent of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applicants. Verification is time-consuming and often confusing, especially when students do not have external support. While the intent is to reduce fraud and correct errors, research has found that the administrative burden of verification may outweigh the benefits. Informed by this research and their own data analysis, the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid decided to reduce the percentage of FAFSA filers required to complete verification from 30 percent down to 18 percent. While low-income students will still be disproportionately burdened by verification, the change means that fewer disadvantaged students will have to navigate this red tape. #education
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