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W.Va. House Rejects Bill To Require FAFSA To Graduate

House Education Vice Chair Joshua Higginbotham, R-Putnam, was a co-sponsor on HB 2702.
Perry Bennett
WV Legislative Photography
Joshua Higginbotham, R-Putnam, speaks in the statehouse earlier this year.

A bill aimed at ensuring high school students fill out the FAFSA prior to graduation has died in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

HB 2702 would have made filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid a requirement to graduate high school in West Virginia.

Opponents of the bill said it would have created an extra burden on students and shouldn’t be mandated to receive a diploma. Those in support said it was an incentive to ensure students find out how much aid they may be eligible to use for higher education.

The bill was rejected 42-56. It was the first piece of legislation in the 2021 session to be rejected on the floor of a full chamber.

Higher education officials reported prior to the start of the legislative session that FAFSA applications in the state were down by 25 percent.

Officials said this was largely due to students being out of schools because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Webmaster/Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief/Part-time Education Reporter/Producer, emccormick@wvpublic.org, 304-876-9313, @LizMcCormickWV

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