Last week College Guide reported that the Department of Education’s changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were mostly cosmetic, because FAFSA still counts still counts parents’ assets against financial aid. And apparently fixing that would require actual legislation.

A word on that legislation. In September, 2009 the House passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. According to the House Committee on Education and Labor:

In place of the asset questions, H.R. 3221 [the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act] creates an asset cap for need-based aid above which a student is ineligible for Pell Grants and subsidized Stafford loans. The asset cap is set at $150,000 and is indexed for inflation.

Once the bill is passed in the Senate the Department of Education could replace six asset-based questions on FAFSA with a single question about household wealth.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer