Vermont Congressman Peter Welch was at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation - known as VSAC - this morning to announce new legislation intended to ease and simplify the college financial aid application process.
Congressman Welch has been working to make college more affordable and his latest target is simplifying the Free Application for Financial Aid - or FAFSA - form, which must be filled out to obtain any type of financial aid. Vermont‘s lone congressman notes that a number of the items on that application are also on the federal income tax form.
The applicant would use the previous year’s tax records. Welch and VSAC President and CEO Don Vickers agree that’s the only practical way to simplify the process.
Any financial aid can be adjusted after the current year’s taxes are filed. University of Vermont Junior Ethan Lee is more concerned about the application process than potential aid adjustments.
VSAC Vice President for Operations, Social Marketing and Strategy Scott Giles expects the Welch legislation to provide several benefits for families and students.
VSAC data shows that nationally about 59 percent of college freshmen fill out the FAFSA Free Application for Financial Aid form while 88 percent of Vermont freshmen complete the application.