Increase in student financial aid legislation removes first legislative hurdle

A bill that would require high school students to complete Free Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application documents before graduation was passed by the House education committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 126, legislation to improve access to higher education, would raise awareness of the costs and opportunities for support when students plan to continue their education after high school.

Representative Regina Huff, sponsor of House Bill 126, said the bill is needed to help as many students as possible know what financial resources they have if they want to continue their education.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce director of public affairs John Hughes testified with Rep. Huff in support of the legislation and said the bill could help ease the Kentucky workforce crisis ensuring that families are aware of all their options for higher education.

Hughes noted that Louisiana was the first state to require completion of the FAFSA, and the state saw its rates drop from 51% to 77% in the first year.

The bill contains an opt-out provision to make it optional for students and parents.

House Bill 126 is now moving upstairs to the House.