Florida College Access Network (Florida CAN) is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 Florida FAFSA Challenge, a statewide campaign to increase the proportion of high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid!

Through March 31, 54 school districts and 390 high schools have increased the number of seniors who completed the federal financial aid form by at least 5% over last year, contributing to a statewide gain of 9.1%.  This translates to over $37 million more in Pell grant dollars alone for graduating seniors to help pay the cost of college. (Click here for a district-by-district breakdown of the estimated change in Pell grant dollars awarded.)

“The boost in Florida’s FAFSA completions this year is phenomenal and a credit to the schools, districts, and community partners who have worked passionately to ensure all of our students have the resources to attend college,” said Laurie Meggesin, Florida CAN’s executive director.  “This is a real game-changer for the thousands of students and families impacted by this collective effort.”

Districts and schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Sarasota, Gulf, and Okaloosa counties won top honors as the highest performers.  Click here for a PDF version of the trophy winners listed below:

“MVP” (Have the highest FAFSA completion rate through March 31, 2017)

Large school: Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Miami-Dade County
Medium school: TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Miami, Miami-Dade County
Small school: Archimedean Upper Conservatory, Miami, Miami-Dade County
Large school district: Sarasota County
Small school district: Gulf County

“Most Improved” (Improved FAFSA completion rate the most, compared to last year through March 31, 2017)

Large school: William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Orange County
Medium school: Mater Academy Charter High School, Hialeah Gardens, Miami-Dade County
Small school: Somerset Arts Conservatory, Pembroke Pines, Broward County
Large school district: Orange County
Small school district: Gulf County

“Biggest Boost” (Largest week-to-week change in percentage of students completing the FAFSA)

Large school: Riverview High School, Sarasota, Sarasota County
Medium school: TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Miami, Miami-Dade County
Small school: School for Advanced Studies – North, Miami, Miami-Dade County
Large school district: Okaloosa County
Small school district: Gulf County

Click here for a full listing of the 54 districts and 390 schools that improved their FAFSA completion rate by 5% or more this spring.

How did your school or district do?

Curious about how your school or district fared in the Florida FAFSA Challenge? You can find out on Florida CAN’s FAFSA Finish Line dashboard, which includes data for over 600 public schools in the state. The dashboard also allows users to view school, district, and state-level FAFSA completion rates using nine different filters and search options.

Chart: FAFSA completion among 12th graders attending Florida public schools

Click image to view data dashboard

The Florida FAFSA Challenge is part of College Ready Florida, a suite of statewide initiatives designed to build a college-going culture and help all students — especially low-income students — continue their educations beyond high school. Florida CAN applauds all schools and districts that committed to helping more graduating high school seniors access financial aid for college and congratulates those that boosted their FAFSA completion rates this year!


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