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Simpler Form For Students Applying For College Financial Aid

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Jill Biden, educator and the Vice President's wife, speak to students at Banneker High School in Washington, D.C.
Kavitha Cardoza
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Jill Biden, educator and the Vice President's wife, speak to students at Banneker High School in Washington, D.C.

By Kavitha Cardoza

Students applying for college financial aid will now have to navigate a simpler, shorter form.

Several students at Bannekar High School in Northwest D.C. are filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form on computers. Dr Jill Biden, an educator and wife of the Vice President, says it's much more stream lined this year.

"A lot quicker, a lot quicker," she says. "Many of my students were saying in previous years, 'this is so hard and my parents don't know how to help me.' It's tough."

The revised form is shorter and students can skip questions that aren't relevant to them. For example, students won't be asked about veteran's benefits and low-income students won't be asked about asset information, because neither is used to determine their aid eligibility.

Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, says in the past, you needed a PhD just to figure out the form.

"We just want to see many more students who have worked hard, who've got great grades, who have done well on the ACT's, no longer stopped by the very form that's supposed to help them," says Duncan.

About 20 million students fill out the form every year. The deadline to apply for aid is June 30th.

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