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Estimates of Reporting Burdens May Understate Aid Offices’ Real Efforts

A white paper, released on Wednesday by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, calls on the U.S. Department of Education to clarify how it calculates estimates of the regulatory burdens on financial-aid offices. The paper says such estimates are often inaccurate, understating the amount of time spent on rules compliance.

The paper describes a study of those administrative-burden estimates that found that inaccurate estimates may end up harming students by limiting financial-aid offices’ ability to provide services. Among other policy recommendations, the paper calls on federal officials to analyze a set of regulations to determine gaps between estimates and real-world outcomes.

The association released the report in the same week that four U.S. senators announced the formation of a task force to weigh the effects of federal regulation on higher education.

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