Yesterday, the Florida College Access Network and Florida School Counselor Association wrote a joint letter to the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance requesting the state make available student-level FAFSA completion data to school counselors and administrators in time for the beginning of FAFSA season in January.
Based on an analysis published a year ago by Florida CAN, high school seniors in our state left behind over $100 million in Pell Grant dollars in 2013 alone by virtue of not completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Previous studies referenced in the brief have shown students are more likely to complete the FAFSA when they receive help, and that FAFSA completers are more likely to attend college and complete a degree or credential within the expected time frame. Providing student-specific FAFSA completion data to school counselors has proven to be a very effective strategy in other states and would go far to expand postsecondary opportunities for students in Florida.
The Florida School Counselor Association (FSCA) empowers more than 6,000 professional school counselors in the state of Florida with the knowledge, skills linkages and resources to promote student success in the school, the home and the community. Starting in January 2015, FSCA will launch a newly formed College and Career Readiness Committee which will focus on the needs of college and career readiness needs, including financial preparedness, of students at all grade levels.
To read the joint letter written by the Florida College Access Network and Florida School Counselor Association, follow this link. To view the FAFSA completion rates of over 500 public schools in Florida, view Florida CAN’s FAFSA Finish Line interactive data map.