Streamlined FAFSA

Half the FAFSA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Student Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) enables millions of students to attend college. However, the complexity and length of the application results in low completion rates and leaves roughly $24 billion in federal student aid unclaimed. “Half the FAFSA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Student Aid” presents the Streamlined FAFSA, a consumer-tested approach to the financial aid application process that reduces completion time, improves accuracy and increases usability for families and students, and maintains the universality of the form.

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Executive Summary

Full Report

Technical Reports


Share This Research

We can halve the number of #FAFSA questions while reducing errors and increasing usability. Time to #FixFAFSA:

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#FAFSA filing boosts college enrollment and completion. Let’s #FixFAFSA for the students who need #FinAid the most:

Our neediest students can know in advance they'll get full Pell. It's @collegeaccess’s Streamlined #FAFSA: #FixFAFSA

Half the #FAFSA? Yes, please. Here’s one way to #FixFAFSA:

A faster, easier, more accurate #FAFSA isn’t just a pipe dream. Learn more: #FixFAFSA

#FAFSA filing is closely tied to college enrollment & completion. Let’s #FixFAFSA to better target #FinancialAid:

.@collegeaccess’s Streamlined #FAFSA tested faster, easier and more accurately than the current form: #FixFAFSA

Technical Reports

NCAN’s Streamlined FAFSA outperforms the current form. Independent testing of the NCAN Streamlined FAFSA model examined completion time, error rate, satisfaction and usability. Using the Streamlined FAFSA resulted in:

  • up to 50 percent fewer questions that needed to be answered, with as few as 20 questions;
  • a 39-percent improvement in completion times;
  • a 56-percent lower error rate; and
  •  greater satisfaction and usability by applicants.

The reports below are the technical review of the independent testing of the Streamlined FAFSA.

Streamlined FAFSA: Performance Report - This report details the faster completion times, lower error rate, and overall satisfaction of the Streamlined FAFSA compared to the 2016-17 online FAFSA.

Streamlined FAFSA: Usability Report - This report details the usability of the Streamlined FAFSA, highlighting both successes and areas for improvement.