Wyden calls for reform to financial aid application

HIGHER ED ROUNDUP: Sen. Ron Wyden wants to “empower consumers and increase college access”; PCC adds all-gender bathrooms.

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Sen. Ron Wyden wants to improve the process of receiving financial aid to “empower consumers and increase college access.”

His plan calls for earlier acceptance of Free Applications for Federal Student Aid, a letter to the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan revealed.

Said Wyden in a letter to Duncan, “Right now, many students across the country are receiving their college admissions letters without the accompanying financial aid award information they need to compare college options and costs. Earlier and more accurate financial aid award information would allow students and families, and especially low-income and first generation students, to make better-informed decisions about their educational careers.”

At issue: Wyden said tax data students and families use on the application is limited and creates “a highly disjointed process and timeline.” He’s pushing Duncan to use its authority to essentially allow the use of two-year-old tax data, which would allow families to complete their applications in a more-timely fashion.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

Wyden wrote that the current process for receiving FAFSA is “significantly disjointed.”

PCC implements all-gender bathrooms

A step toward inclusivity, Portland Community Colleges have added all-gender bathrooms.

Under a districtwide education and outreach program, the GIS committee has scored a number of victories: 33 all-gender bathrooms in place by 2017, a class roster that can reflect a person’s chosen name and gender identity, and the announcement of Kole Myrick as the keynote speaker at Friday’s graduation ceremony. Myrick is a 39-year-old transgender man who was homeless until he found a place at PCC.

“PCC basically saved my life by accepting me and offering me financial aid,” says the Northeast Portland resident.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

PCC has one of the highest rates of transgender students in the state.



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