The form barrier

Here’s the student finance (maintenance loan and grant, and tuition fee loan) application form for 2013:

http://www.sfengland.slc.co.uk/media/559131/sfe_pn1_1314_d.pdf

It’s 34 pages long, with a 10 page section for parents to fill in all their income details…. e.g.

form

This would be OK for parents used to filling in tax returns etc – but what about those from lower socio-economic groups who are less likely to have to deal with such matters? Does it mean those from poorer backgrounds are put off applying?

Research from the US suggests a more efficient way would be to link parental earnings directly into the student finance application via the tax system. The results of a trial suggested those who received assistance with the form and information about aid were substantially more likely to submit the aid application, enroll in college, and receive more financial aid

http://www.nber.org/papers/w15361

Could we do something similar here?

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