Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Host College Access Town Hall in Hartford

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On Tuesday, January 21, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford, Conn., for a college access town hall to engage with students, college counselors, and state and local leaders—including Gov. Dannel Malloy, U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, State Superintendent Stefan Pryor, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and University of Hartford President Walter Harrison. The town hall will highlight the recent release of the 2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and resources available to help students access higher education. A media availability will follow the event.

The Department has taken a number of steps to expand college access and improve college affordability, including doubling Federal investments in Pell Grants, making college tax credits available, and reforming student loans. Earlier this week, the Obama administration convened with leaders in higher education to announce over 100 new commitments to expand college access and opportunity.

The Department has also worked to ensure that the FAFSA is an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families. Beginning with the 2014-2015 federal student aid form, the Department will—for the first time—collect income and other information from a dependent student's legal parents regardless of the parents' marital status or gender, if those parents live together.