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Ernst Amplifies Voices of Families Impacted by Biden’s FAFSA Failure

LAMONI, Iowa – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) hosted a roundtable at Graceland University for Iowa students, families, administrators, and other stakeholders to share how they have been impacted by the Department of Education’s botched rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“Rural students shouldn’t be forced to choose between their family farm and their future when navigating the college admissions process,” said Senator Ernst. “As a farm kid myself and a recipient of a Pell Grant, this issue is personal for me. I’m so grateful for the students, parents, and administrators who came forward to share their stories at my roundtable in Lamoni. On behalf of these families and all those across our state who have been affected by this fiasco, I’ll continue to demand Biden’s Department of Ed fix the FAFSA.”


Access images from the event here.


The FAFSA form is typically accessible to students on Oct. 1 of each year to allow for ample time to submit financial information in advance of both state and school-specific deadlines for aid eligibility. However, due to incomplete planning measures, the Department of Education released this year’s version three months late, drastically condensing the timeline for families to submit for aid. This delayed rollout along with additional actions by the Biden administration have specifically put farm families at a disadvantage, which is why Ernst has conducted critical oversight of the botched rollout and demanded answers for agricultural communities.

Ernst wants to ensure students from families with small businesses and farms can pursue a higher education. In 2023, she introduced the Family Farm and Small Business Exemption Act to reverse recent changes to the FAFSA process that could reduce or even eliminate access to need-based student aid for farm families and small business owners. She also introduced the Student Transparency for Understanding Decisions in Education Net Terms (STUDENT) Act to give prospective students an estimate of the total amount of interest they would pay on a loan.