Alexander welcomes Obama financial aid move

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is welcoming a move by the Obama administration to simplify federal financial aid applications, reports WPLN.

The Tennessee senator says the proposal will remove one of the major barriers to kids going to college. He hopes to have a streamlined form in place next year.

Alexander has pushed for years to make the Free Application for Federal Student Aid — or FAFSA — easier. Obama’s backing represents a breakthrough, the Republican lawmaker says.

“I mean we’ve got bipartisan support. And I learned a long time ago that if you’ve got a good idea, you push it, you work with other people, and you don’t care who gets credit for it. So I’m glad to have the president support it.”

The Obama administration announced last week that it would change the deadline for the FAFSA from January to October, a decision that’s meant to make it easier for families to gather the tax information needed. The IRS will even help fill the form out.

Alexander wants to go even farther. He’d like to shorten the FAFSA from 108 questions to a form the size of a postcard.