WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan FUTURE Act today, which permanently funds historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, and streamlines financial aid. Specifically, it allows the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Education to share data that will shorten the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and automatically re-certify the income of borrowers who are in an income-driven repayment plan.
Kaitlyn Vitez, PIRG’s Higher Education Campaign director, issued the following statement in response:
“We applaud Sens. Alexander, Murray and all cosponsors and supporters of the FUTURE Act for helping the millions of students struggling to navigate the loan repayment process. With nearly $1.7 trillion in student debt, this bill will help eliminate some of the barriers that trip students up in their pursuit of a degree.
“Millions of students across America will soon be filling out FAFSA forms ahead of the fall semester — and now, that process will be greatly simplified. Additionally, students in income-driven loan repayment plans will no longer have to go through the onerous process of recertifying their income.
“We urge President Donald Trump to sign the FUTURE Act into law. And in the coming year, we encourage Sens. Alexander and Murray to pursue a comprehensive, bipartisan Higher Education Act that maintains strong consumer protections for borrowers, improves accountability, and takes meaningful steps towards making college more affordable.”