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Increasing FAFSA Completion in Arizona

Author: Helios Education Foundation

October 10, 2019

Currently in Arizona, less than half of high school seniors fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  However, according to the National College Access Center, high school seniors who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in postsecondary education.  The FAFSA provides access to federal financial resources such as grants, work-study funds and loans.  In addition, the FAFSA can help identify scholarship opportunities from private sources. 

While the FAFSA is important for all students, it is especially important for low-income and first-generation students who may need access to financial resources to make postsecondary education a reality.  Arizona has made a commitment to help increase our FAFSA completion rates which, we believe, will also help increase our college-going and postsecondary-completion rates and ultimately help us reach our Achieve60AZ college attainment goal.  To that end, a group of community organizations came together to produce a FAFSA Playbook to help educate about the FAFSA and provide resources to help students and families complete it.

“Completing the FAFSA is a critical step for students in their pursuit of a postsecondary degree,” said Paul Perrault, Vice President and Director of Research & Evaluation.  “We wanted to provide a resource for the community that will provide useful information for families and students about completing the FAFSA.”

We are thankful to Valley Leadership for initiating this work through their Education Impact Team and convening a group of community leaders to focus on increasing the number of students pursuing and completing a postsecondary degree.  In addition, we are grateful to Expect More Arizona, Be a Leader Foundation, the Arizona College Access Network, the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, and Valley of the Sun United Way for lending their support and expertise to this project.

Click here to access the FAFSA Playbook.

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