PostsecData Members Address Proposed Changes from the Department of Education to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Published Jul 12, 2022
Sixteen members and partners of the Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData) submitted a letter in response to proposed changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). PostsecData’s recommendations seek to ensure that the FAFSA, as a tool for allocating and awarding federal financial aid, is structured so that it supports student success and equity. As such, PostsecData strongly opposes proposed changes that would eliminate the collection of any information on applicants’ sex or gender; such a change would remove a key source of information about sex- and gender-based inequities in higher education access and outcomes, and generate data inconsistency and quality issues. In addition, ED proposed using a separate form for incarcerated students that is identical to the existing form. PostsecData recommends that ED either eliminate the use of a separate form or develop a tailored approach to gathering information about incarcerated students that is designed with their specific needs and experiences in mind.