Universal FAFSA Bill Introduced In The Senate
LeadMN’s Universal FAFSA legislation was introduced in the Minnesota Senate this past week as SF2735 with bipartisan support. This legislation would add FAFSA completion as a graduation requirement for high school students, with a no questions asked opt out. By implementing FAFSA completion as a high school graduation requirement, with an easy opt out process, Minnesota could significantly boost FAFSA completion and improve access to millions of dollars in Pell Grants and other aid that students could use to pursue a degree. In 2021 eligible Minnesota high school seniors left nearly $50 million in Pell Grant unused. If adopted Minnesota would join seven other states who currently have Universal FAFSA requirements. The House companion legislation (HF2046) was introduced during the 2021 legislative session.
Read more about Universal FAFSA here.
Double Pell Alliance Letter
LeadMN has joined with 187 other organizations in calling on Congress to double the Pell Grant as part of the 2022 Fiscal Year spending agreement. Over the past 50 years the purchasing power of the Pell Grant has declined significantly and today it covers less than 32% of the cost of attending a Minnesota community and technical college. By Doubling the Pell Grant, low-income students need to borrow student loans to support their education would be significantly reduced or eliminated, and would allow thousands of Minnesotans to pursue their postsecondary goals.
Read the full letter here.
College Transparency Act and Short-Term Pell
On Friday, Congress approved an amendment to add the College Transparency Act to the broader America COMPETES Act of 2022, legislation aimed at helping the United States compete with the Peoples Republic of China. The College Transparency Act will modernize data collection on student enrollment and success, helping provide more accurate information to students about college and academic program outcomes, allowing them to make more informed decisions about their postsecondary education. It will also allow policy makers and researchers to better understand how colleges perform and enable them to craft more effective policies that support students. Also included was a change to allow students to use Pell Grants for certificate and other short term programs. This change will have a significant impact on access to short term training programs and workforce credentialing. While the Senate version of the overall China competition bill does not include the College Transparency Act, lawmakers and advocates are hopeful that it will be included in the final compromise bill between the Senate and the House.
In 2017 and 2018 LeadMN students supported and advocated for the passage of the College Transparency Act as part of the LeadMN Federal Legislative Agenda and during meetings with their Congressional members.
Read more about the College Transparency Act here.