NCAN, Ed Trust, NASFAA Receive Grant to Promote “Student Solutions”

September 8, 2014
By Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships and Policy

The National College Access Network is delighted to announce a third grant focused on federal student aid policy from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the 2014-15 year. Joining with Education Trust and NASFAA, NCAN will work to advance practical federal aid policy improvements that will benefit low-income students, increase uptake of federal aid, and increase postsecondary completion rates for Pell Grant recipients. 

“These policy solutions will have significant, tangible benefits for our students and members,” Kim Cook, NCAN’s executive director, said. “For example, imagine the amount of program time and effort we can save by radically simplifying the FAFSA. Time spent by our member programs and students could be spent much more productively than by completing this onerous form.”

The upcoming year will be an exciting time for higher education policy, and NCAN will be involved on several fronts. The Higher Education Act (HEA), which authorizes all federal financial aid programs, is due for reauthorization at the end of 2014, and it may move through Congress as soon as 2015. NCAN will continue to engage with both members of Congress and our NCAN members on our issues.

Specifically, the Student Solutions consortium will address FAFSA simplification and Pell Grant recipient completion rates. Additional work includes research needed for an “early aid awareness” information system that could be delivered in conjunction with various means-tested federal benefits as well as a review of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) necessary for students to qualify for student aid.

There are few organizations in Washington, D.C., that represent the interests of low-income students in higher education, so NCAN member voices will be crucial to move our issues forward. Look for more information at the NCAN National Conference. Not attending? In October, we’ll provide more information to all members electronically.

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