Student Loans

President Barack Obama plans to announce new measures that will make it easier for U.S. students to receive federal student aid loans. The measures are intended to make student aid and college education more affordable.

Obama will make the announcement on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa. They will give future college students the ability to submit earlier applications via FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA application process lets students determine their eligibility for federal student loans and Pell Grants. The Pell Grant program gives federal student aid to certain students depending on their financial need.

Students Can Apply for Their Loans Earlier

Previously, students had to wait until January to file for federal student aid. However, the college application process usually begins in October. Now, students will be able to file their FAFSA applications earlier, when they attend to their university applications in October.

Students will also have the ability to retrieve tax information that was filed in a previous year. Previously they had to wait until tax season before they could complete their applications.

According to a statement released by the White House, "Learning about aid eligibility options much earlier in the college application and decision process will allow students and families to determine the true cost of attending college -– taking available financial aid into account -– and make more informed decisions."

$1.2 Trillion in Pending Student Loan Debt

In recent years, the enormous amount of pending student loans in the United States, which has reached approximately $1.2 trillion, has become a matter of increasing debate and concern. Student loan debt is now the second most prevalent kind of debt after mortgages.

According to the White House, there are approximately 2 million university students that could have been eligible for a Pell Grant, but they never applied for one. Meanwhile, the White House says that an unknown number of people did not go to university simply because they were not aware that student aid was available to them. The White House hopes that a simplified FAFSA application process will encourage more would-be students to attend university and receive a college education.