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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 27, 2015.
Simplifying Financial Aid for Students Act of 2015
This bill amends title IV (Student Assistance) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require the Department of Education (ED) to provide for the use of tax information from the second preceding tax year (the "prior, prior year") to determine a student's financial aid eligibility. It requires data sharing between the Internal Revenue Service and ED, pursuant to taxpayer consent.
The bill also increases from $23,000 to $30,000 the adjusted gross income threshold used to determine whether a student qualifies for an automatic zero expected family contribution (EFC) in the calculation of such student's financial need. A dependent student is eligible for an automatic zero EFC if the student's parents have adjusted gross income up to $30,000. An independent student with non-spouse dependents is eligible for a zero EFC if the student and spouse have adjusted gross income up to $30,000.