Are Students in Your State Applying for Aid?

What is the FAFSA?

Financial aid is available to assist students with education expenses. To be considered for federal student aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, available starting on October 1 of each year. In addition to federal student aid, colleges, states and private scholarship organizations also use or require the FAFSA to process their awards. For more information on the FAFSA form, visit: www.studentaid.ed.gov

The Issue of Completing the FAFSA

From failing to complete a FAFSA, it's estimated American students left $2.6 billion on the table in unclaimed Pell Grants in 2018 alone - - Pell Grants that could have been very instrumental in helping to cover a significant portion of the cost of attendance for many institutions across the country.

Many students choose not to apply for FAFSA because they think that federal college aid is only available for those less fortunate than they are. Cora Manuel, assistant director of financial aid at Saint Mary’s College of California, tells NerdWallet, “A lot of parents feel they won’t qualify.” But in fact, most Americans are eligible, so if you think you don’t qualify, think again.

“Aid is available for anyone with a household income below $250,000 a year,” says Charlie Javice, founder & CEO of Frank, an online FAFSA platform. “So it’s really important as FAFSA season comes up that people don’t forget that there is no such thing as being too rich to file FAFSA.”

(Source: NerdWallet, US Department of Education 2018, CNBC Make it 2017)

While the US Depart of Education site provides and tracks FAFSA completion data, there are a few websites that analyze FAFSA data and show it in different presentations. One site is called "Form Your Future. FAFSA Tracker." This site not only shares state data, but also provides suggestions, strategies and best practices for organizations serving students in each of the states who want to improve FAFSA completion.

See how the state in which you live is doing with FAFSA completion, visit the Form Your Future site. (https://formyourfuture.org/

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