That’s the question. We’re going to be in the gym doing a couple of sets of pushups for hours and hours and hours and hours. That’s a tough one, right?
The Obama administration is trying to make it easier for students with disabilities to enroll, but the current rules make the process slow and burdensome. The rules were finalized in July and go into effect January 1 next year.
The federal government will take over the oversight of more than 200,000 students through the Office of Federal Student Aid for the 2012-2013 school year. Students with disabilities have long been the first recipients of federal financial aid, which gives them money to pay for college. Now the federal government will take a major role in finding a student a private provider — including an institution like a U.S. veterans’ hospital or a federal prison — because the current rules bar them from receiving the same help.
When you think of a student with a disability, you think of someone who can’t walk, can’t speak or can’t read, but you often don’t realize that students with disabilities aren’t those things. While these students can become very effective employees at universities and in the workforce more generally, they are often less successful than others when it comes to seeking jobs for their disabilities without the help of the government.
The Office of Federal Student Aid (OFSA) oversees student aid and is the administrative agency for federally funded schools that receive funds through the federal student aid program. It’s designed to make enrolling in college more accessible for students with disabilities, and to aid graduates with disabilities seeking jobs and a better living. It’s a big opportunity, and an expensive one, because it’s a giant government job that affects millions of young Americans.
If you’ve ever wondered how an individual student with a disability might be affected by the OFSA rules, a recent study out of Ohio State University is worth a quick read.
While federal funding is always limited, OFSA also administers federal student loan programs; however, the borrower experience is different, according to the study, which was done by researchers from Ohio State and the University of Maryland.
“This is part of a long-term research focus on the impact, if any, of OFSA on borrowers with disabilities,” said David R. Williams, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the study. The researchers reviewed existing federal student aid data through 2013 and compared it to information for borrowers under 45 years old. “We looked at
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