Congressman Kim Introduces Biparty Bills To Improve Transparency In Student Financial Aid
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), introduced two bipartisan bills aimed at improving the transparency of student financial assistance. The Helping Students Plan for College Act, presented with Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16), discusses the practice of scholarship displacement, which occurs when schools cut back on student aid when they receive an outside scholarship. .
The Front-Loaded Aid Transparency Act (FLAT), introduced with Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13), deals with the practice of “up-front” financial aid, which occurs when schools provide more. assistance to students during their first year than in subsequent years. years, to encourage students to enroll in school.
“Practices such as start-up aid and scholarship relocation make it more difficult for students and their families to plan their university studies” Congressman Kim said. “Our bipartisan bills will increase transparency and help students and parents make the best financial decisions for their families. I am proud to work with Congressman Davis and Congressman Kelly on these important bipartisan bills, and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass these common sense measures. “
Helping Students Plan For The College Act
The issue of scholarship relocation was brought to Congressman Kim’s attention by Zaniya Lewis, a voter for Edgewater Park.
“In my last year in college, I won a private scholarship and presented the award to my undergraduate university. The Financial Aid Department informed me that my college will cut half of my need-based institutional scholarship, eliminate my federal work-study, and increase my federal loans, which means I suddenly have to pay over $ 15,000. $ from my pocket “, Zaniya Lewis said. “The Helping Students Plan for College Education law is so important because it will require universities across the country to make their private scholarship policies transparent and to inform students of their financial situation in advance so that both students and families can make informed financial decisions for college. “
This legislation would require all higher education institutions to inform prospective and enrolled students of the school’s policy on private scholarships and how receipt of such scholarships may affect a student’s eligibility. institutional support. If passed, the bill would allow students to know in advance whether the additional scholarships they earn will reduce the amount of student loans they will need to borrow. The bill would also direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on scholarship displacement.
“A university education is one of the most important investments an individual can make in their lifetime. Therefore, when planning university spending, students and families should have enough information to determine how federal, state, institutional, and private grants will fit. together, as well as how institutional aid amounts will change as a student progresses to a degree ”, said Mamie Voight, Interim President of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). “The Helping Students Plan For The College Act and the Upstream Financial Aid Transparency Act (FLAT) increase transparency around institutional financial aid practices, including how outside grants may impact scholarship amounts and how scholarship amounts may change from year to year. Taken together, these measures will allow students to choose a college or program that best fits their financial situation and educational goals as they plan their educational expenses from enrollment to completion. “
The Helping Students Plan for College Act is approved by: National Education Association, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, The Institute for College Access and Success, Institute for Higher Education Policy, Scholarship America, National Scholarship Providers Association, 10,000 Degrees, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Southern California College Access Network, National Association for College Admission Counseling, New America, CoLabL, Kaleidoscope, TuitionFit, Delaware Community Foundation, Council of Michigan Foundations, and YesSheCanCampaign.
Upstream Aid Transparency Act (FLAT)
The legislation would direct GAO to conduct a study to uncover the prevalence, extent, and impact of the practice of IPO at accredited colleges and universities in the United States. The study would include the impact of anticipation on important outcomes such as student loans, student retention, enrollment intensity (i.e. taking fewer classes), transfer rates and graduation rates. Importantly, it would also examine whether schools that engage in pre-feeding educate prospective students on how their aid programs are likely to change after their first year of study.
“Making higher education funding more transparent is essential to make college more affordable and accessible” said Congressman Davis. “The practice of advance financial aid can have serious repercussions on the personal finances of students, especially their student debt. This is why I am proud to join Congressman Kim and other colleagues in the House in introducing the bipartisan FLAT law, to highlight this practice and ensure that students have a full picture of the costs. of their college studies.
“We applaud the introduction of the Helping Students Plan for College Act and the FLAT Act, which make significant strides in improving the financial aid process for students and their families. ” said Michele Streeter, associate director of policy and advocacy at the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS).
The FLAT law is approved by: Institute for College Access and Success, Institute for Higher Education Policy and YesSheCanCampaign.
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Committee on Small Business. More information on Congressman Kim can be found on his website by click here.
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