INDIANAPOLIS—A bipartisan-supported bill to require students to submit the FAFSA, an application for federal financial aid, passed the House Education Committee Wednesday.
Senate Bill 167, authored by Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, would require all high-school seniors to submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in Indiana. The application gives Hoosier children an idea of how much aid they have available to them, and can direct students to scholarships for which they are eligible.
In the committee meeting, Rep. Jake Teshka, R-South Bend, brought Amendment 2, which calls for the General Assembly to revisit the requirement in 2033, just to make sure the bill is working as it is supposed to. The amendment was adopted.
Rep. Tonya Pfaff, D-Terre Haute, said she is still concerned with the “pressure” the bill may put on school counselors but voted to pass it anyway. Her concern comes from a section of the bill’s digest that states students are required to fill the FAFSA out unless: “the principal or school counselor of the student's high school waives the requirement for a group of students due to the principal or school counselor being unable to reach the parents or guardians of the students by April 15 after at least two reasonable attempts to contact the parents or guardians.”
The bill ultimately passed with a vote of 11-1, with Rep. Becky Cash, R-Zionsville, being SB 167’s only opposer.
If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, the bill would become law on July 1 of this year.
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