BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Attending college could be much easier thanks to new legislation.
State officials introduced a companion bill in the Senate that will improve student access to federal financial aid, called the FAFSA Fairness Act of 2019.
Rep. Elijah Cummings made the announcement Monday. It is designed for students who don’t have contact with their parents to not let that prevent them from receiving an education.
“All of us are here because all of us here understand fully that our children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see,” Cummings said.
Rep. Cummings, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger and Rep. John Sarbanes joined by Sen. Ben Cardin and Sen. Chris Van Hollen at Baltimore City Community College with a breakthrough- changing students’ lives forever.
The new bill would make applying for federal financial aid easier for students. Instead of needing their parent’s financial records, students can now fill out the FAFSA form on their own.
Right now, they need their parents’ financial information to complete their application.
This could be hard for some students like Sadia Brooks- a third year student at BCCC in her final semester.
“I feel like this legislation will give students a lot less stress from what they’ve been going through as far as filling out information for their parents because a lot of students don’t have a relationship where they don’t speak to their parents,” Brooks said.
People pushing for the change say too many kids in need don’t get their financial aid that could enable them to go to college because their parents either will not or cannot help them with their application.
Rather than abandon their college dreams, this bill provides a new chapter.
“It also ensures that schools provide the financial determination of financial aid in a timely matter once they have the students’ documents,” Cummings said.
Now, they may not have to give up on their dream.
Rep. Cummings said he sees a lot of himself in these kids and this opportunity could take them far. The bill wouldn’t increase the workload of college financial aid administrators or change their decision.