There is a new catchphrase in the higher education policy arena: prior-prior. The term is shorthand for a simple reform to ease the federal financial aid application process for both students and families. Congress fully supports the concept: Prior-prior has bipartisan, bicameral, and broad-based support the likes of which Washington has not seen in years. And lawmakers are spot on in backing the policy—prior-prior is a valuable idea that should be implemented immediately. But they also must recognize that prior-prior should only represent the first step in rethinking the financial aid application process.
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