The federal financial aid application now allows students to use existing federal tax data, designed to inform families earlier about their available aid. But student advocates say colleges may undercut progress by moving up their own deadlines for students.
As bipartisan consensus emerges in Congress that colleges should share the burden of students who can't repay loans or find jobs, higher ed leaders consider how such a plan would work and whether it would discourage them from educating the disadvantaged.
A campaign for students to take 15 credits a semester is growing. But some worry 15-credit course loads could become a requirement for financial aid, or might prod job-holding students to take on too much.