Owens, Foxx Blast Education Department for FAFSA Flop

“ED’s Fixation on Biden’s Illegal Student Loan Scheme Led to Botched Rollout”

WASHINGTON – In response to the Department of Education’s announcement today that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) implementation would be delayed by at least another 30 days, Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chair Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) sent a letter to Secretary Miguel Cardona demanding answers regarding the botched launch, existing errors, and continued delays in the full implementation of the FAFSA.

“Secretary Miguel Cardona’s mishandling of the FAFSA launch has left approximately 17.5 million American students without viable options to plan for their college education,” said Chair Owens. “The Department of Education’s decision to prioritize President Biden’s unconstitutional student debt forgiveness scheme over ensuring the smooth implementation of FAFSA further highlights this administration’s detachment from the needs of both students and our higher education system. This skewed focus not only compounds existing challenges but also underscores the department’s misplaced priorities that are jeopardizing the accessibility and affordability of higher education in America.”

Given these disruptions, Owens and Foxx ask Secretary Cardona to produce documents related to the Department’s botched rollout and implementation, including:

  • The Department’s plan of action to implement the Act.
  • Communications the Department shared with students and other stakeholders regarding deadlines or extensions of deadlines for availability of the new FAFSA, including the most recent extension to March.
  • Communications between the Department and contractors tasked with FAFSA implementation.
  • Written communications regarding the reallocation of salaries and expense account funding to implement the administration’s student loan cancellation initiatives.
  • Communications between the Department and schools regarding the deadline for providing FAFSA information.
  • Timelines of the Department’s attempts to resolve each of the identified FAFSA implementation errors.

Background:

On January 24, 2024, Chair Owens, joined Chairwoman Foxx, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and 26 lawmakers to request a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the Biden administration’s failure to timely and properly implement the new FAFSA, delaying students’ and families’ access to crucial financial aid for college.

Read the full letter here.

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