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Take Part in the FAFSA Challenge: Deadline March 31

Author: Helios Education Foundation

March 22, 2019

One of the most intimidating aspects of completing a postsecondary degree is financial. 

Too often students with high potential but low means shy away from pursuing a degree based on the assumption that college is out of their financial reach. As strategic partners, both Helios Education Foundation and the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) are focused on ensuring more students complete a postsecondary degree.    

One important step toward degree attainment is FAFSA completion. Most forms of financial aid - including federal grants, institutional aid, and work study programs - are informed by the FAFSA. Yet, Florida ranks 34th in the nation for FAFSA completion. “Completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is foundational to realizing students’ dreams of a college education” said Braulio Colón, Vice President, Florida Student Success Initiatives. “Not only does the FAFSA provide students who qualify access to grants and scholarships, it facilitates other resources to help alleviate the financial burden.”  

In order to increase the number of Florida students who complete the FAFSA, thus increasing the amount of aid received by underrepresented students, the Florida College Access Network launched the Florida FAFSA Challenge in 2016. As part of the Challenge, school districts statewide strive to increase completion rates by five percent annually or set a goal that fits their school’s unique circumstances.  Through the end of March 2018, 124 high schools representing 42 counties increased the percentage of seniors who completed the FAFSA by at least five percent over the previous year. 

Time is ticking but you can still take part in the 2019 FAFSA Challenge which ends March 31. Encourage high school seniors to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.gov and learn more about the Florida FAFSA Challenge by visiting the Florida College Access Network at www.floridacollegeaccess.org.  

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