Lost in the news of the demise of Perkins Loans on Thursday was another death: that of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
For nearly three decades, the committee had counseled Congress and the Education Department on student-aid issues. It played a major role in shaping federal student-aid policy, issuing reports that led to the creation and simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the development of two formulas to analyze the financial needs of low- and moderate-income students. Its work is frequently cited by academic researchers and lobbyists, and referred to in legislation.
Legislation to extend for a year both the Perkins Loan Program and the advisory committee passed the House of Representatives on Monday but didn’t make it through the Senate before the deadline, at midnight on Wednesday.
The committee’s end occurred as Congress is preparing to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the law governing federal student aid. The panel’s final act, said Bill Goggin, its longtime staff director, will be to send a transcript of its September hearing on reauthorization to the secretary of education.
Mr. Goggin, who has been with the committee since it was created, said he was trying to find new jobs for his two remaining staff members. Two others have already moved on, anticipating the end.
“As far as I know,” he said, “it’s over.”