Student-Aid Form Too Long, Scholars Say

The federal student-aid application is longer and more complicated than a federal tax return and can be significantly shortened without radically changing aid distribution, according to a new paper by two scholars at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In the working paper, Susan M. Dynarski and Judith E. Scott-Clayton argue that the complex federal-aid system was designed for elite private colleges, which have bundles of money to award, and discourages families