Every year, Florida’s high school graduating class misses out on over $300 million in Pell Grants because they do not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The majority of Florida college students use a combination of federal, state, and college-based aid to pay for college, and the FAFSA can help unlock aid for students attending a variety of postsecondary institutions, including technical colleges and career programs.
To meet the talent needs of our state, Florida must cultivate a talent-strong workforce with education or training beyond high school. Students who complete the FAFSA are more likely to enroll in higher education, persist in their coursework, and obtain a degree. Despite this, around half of Florida’s high school seniors fail to complete the FAFSA each year, leaving millions in financial aid on the table. And the students who stand to benefit most, including low-income and first-generation students, are the least likely to complete the form.
In response, a new FCAN Memo outlines the state of FAFSA completion in Florida, highlights policy efforts in other states that have increased FAFSA completion, and makes two policy recommendations that may help Florida jump up from its current rank of 46th in FAFSA completion.
Visit FCAN’s “Research & Data” section to learn more and download the brief.
LATER THIS WEEK: The release of FCAN’s FAFSA Challenge Dashboard, where you can track school, district, and state-level data on high school seniors who have completed the FAFSA to date during the 2021-22 school year.
“First Look” FAFSA completion dashboard for the 2021-22 school year is now available