When Bill Gates spoke with college students recently about America's financial aid system, it sounded like they were describing a horror film. The students used words like "scary," "nerve-wracking" and "miserable."
Writing about the experience in a recent blog post, Gates argues that there are several things that could make applying for financial aid less terrifying, but there is one that stands out — fixing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA.
"Each year, the U.S. government offers more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds to help students pay for college," he writes. "But the overly complex and confusing financial aid system is failing the students most in need of assistance, preventing them from pursuing their dreams of attending college."
In order to earn their share of these funds, students must complete the FAFSA, which has over 180 questions and is more than three times longer than the standard federal income tax form.