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H.R. 3516 (115th): Reduce Barriers to College Act

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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, 2017.

Reduce Barriers to College Act

This bill requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure that the implemented authentication processes used for all current and future online applications provide the level of assurance required by National Institute of Standards and Technology standards for the determined level of authentication risk.

Within 90 days of the enactment of this bill, the IRS must establish an online portal for individuals to request that a verification of nonfiling for any taxable year be submitted to the Department of Education as part of the process of completing the individual's Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The portal must authenticate an individual's identity using a valid Social Security number and any one of several documents specified in the bill.

The bill amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to permit certain independent students applying for federal student aid using the simplified needs test to obtain a verification of nonfiling from the IRS in lieu of certifying that the student (and the student's spouse, if any) is not required to file a federal income tax return.