Monday, February 23, 2009

Problem with the Intimidating Financial Aid Form

Written by: Keun H. Maeng

Paying for college is tough during the poor economic period of recession. With this in mind, the number of student applying for financial aid is estimated to drastically increase by 20 percent. Even though this increase is a significant factor to consider, the mundane six-paged federal form is the most immediate problem that must be corrected.

The whole process of financial aid was created in 1992. The intention to simplify applying for financial aid has become rather intimidating. With more than 100 questions, many poor students anticipating to attend college are being scared off. President Obama has promised to eliminate the Federal Student Aid, and simplify the whole process on this campaign. But, with that elimination creates a new problem: some states and universities might create new forms to get additional information. An alternative solution would be to let taxpayers direct the IRS to share the information from their tax returns with the Education Department. This might seem like a great solution, but such changes cannot be easily made since it requires Congressional action.

The complexity of the Financial Aid has been a profit for high-priced financial advisors who maximize the students’ eligibility for financial aid. However, for families not affluent to consider financial advisors as an option to get financial aid is unfortunately struggling to send their kids to college.

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