Brainerd Dispatch Staff
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith helped pass bipartisan legislation in the Senate last week that would simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a news release stated.
The legislation eliminates burdensome annual paperwork for federal student loan borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans by automating income recertification, and permanently funds Tribal colleges.
The Senate-passed Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education Act will permanently provide $255 million annually in support for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions of higher education, which faced financial uncertainty when their funding lapsed earlier this year.
Klobuchar, Smith and their colleagues have long been fighting to secure this funding and to simplify the FAFSA for the 20 million families who have to fill out the form each year, the release stated. The Senate-passed bill will streamline the process of enrolling and staying in income-driven repayment programs, by eliminating duplicative paperwork between the IRS and the Department of Education, for nearly 8 million student loan borrowers. The FUTURE Act is intended to create the first and only permanent funding program — outside of Pell Grants and student loans — to support students and colleges.
“I’m pleased the FUTURE Act passed the Senate so that tribal colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions of higher education across the country are one step closer to receiving the annual funding they need to keep serving millions of students,” Klobuchar stated in the release. “These institutions are critical to our higher education and workforce development systems, and Minnesotans and students nationwide deserve every opportunity to advance their education.”