Rep. Tom Reed Hosts Financial Aid Roundtable at Cornell University
Rep. Tom Reed recently hosted a financial aid roundtable at Cornell University with college students and financial aid representatives from Cornell and Ithaca College to discuss choices students have in the financial aid process.
“Students and their families have tough decisions to make balancing what they can afford with the quality of education they are seeking,” Rep. Tom Reed said. “Since financial burdens from college extend far into the future, it is important students are aware of what their obligations to pay back loans will be. Transparency and knowing what the gross versus net cost of college will be are going to play a large role in helping students understand their options.”
“The main takeaway from the roundtable was that the process of applying for financial aid is a complex maze of paperwork that often deters students from seeking financial help, if that is, they are aware financial aid is available in the first place,” Reed continued. “We want to make sure students know what options are out there for them and reduce and simplify the process to stretch their dollars further.”
Suggestions from students and financial aid representatives at the roundtable included increasing awareness among families and students of what loan programs are available to them, streamlining the application process, making student loans available at low interest rates, and simplifying the tax code so that families have a better understanding of what provisions exist so they can better utilize them.
As the House of Representatives, and particularly the Committee on Ways and Means, works toward tax reform, Rep. Reed has heard from education stakeholders through the Ways and Means Committee Education working group. “Hearing from those at the roundtable and comments submitted to the Education working group, the tax code as it pertains to students is confusing, complex, and underused. Common sense tax reform can help to provide students with a simpler, fairer, and less costly tax code.”
“As we continue to team with students and financial aid representatives to look at ways we can better the process, one thing is for sure: our students are committed to higher education. Anything we can do to help support their commitment is time well spent.”