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A group of Republicans in the House and Senate has requested the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the Education Department’s launch of the new version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The new form, which was delayed by three months, experienced a rocky rollout, with technical challenges and limited availability in its initial days.
Lawmakers express concern that such challenges and delays may discourage low-income students, heavily dependent on federal aid, from pursuing postsecondary education. The GAO investigation aims to assess the difficulties faced by students in filling out the form, hurdles encountered by colleges and universities in administering financial aid, and whether the Education Department provided sufficient information and guidance for navigating the changes.
The request for investigation was made by key Republicans, including Louisiana Senator Dr. Bill Cassidy and North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx, along with 26 other lawmakers. They highlight the repeated delays in launching the new FAFSA, causing uncertainty for students about their educational future.