Laura Perna cites trust issues in the FAFSA overhaul for “The Atlantic”

May 3, 2024
Laura Perna seated at a table outside

Laura Perna (Stuart Goldenberg for Penn GSE)

The planned simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) aimed to reduce barriers to financial aid by slashing the number of questions from 108 to just 36. However, the rollout has been fraught with delays and technical issues that have complicated the college application landscape for students nationwide.

Laura Perna, Penn GSE Centennial Presidential Professor of Education and Penn’s vice provost for faculty, has expressed concerns about these setbacks in an article for The Atlantic. Perna highlighted the potential for these difficulties to erode trust in the FAFSA process — a system on which many families rely to disclose sensitive personal information in hopes of securing financial aid.

With the FAFSA’s integrity in question, the entire higher education sector could feel the effects, especially at a time when enrollment is already declining. From its peak in 2011, college enrollment had plummeted by approximately 1.2 million by 2022.

Read more at The Atlantic.