FAFSA Completion Declines 4.8%

The FAFSA completion rate declined 4.8% year-over-year.

Reported by Inside Higher Ed, the high school graduating class of 2021 completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at a rate nearly 5% lower than the preceding class. For schools with majority black and latino student populations, this decline was greater than 8%. And with the FAFSA being the primary mechanism for students to access federal grants and loans as well as state and institutional aid, this is an incredibly depressing statistic.

The takeaway? For those students with clear career plans that don’t include college, perhaps an intentional FAFSA completion omission makes sense. But for those curious or intent on continuing their journey into higher education, what can we do to ensure they complete the FAFSA during their senior year and get access to all available aid to make those educational plans more affordable? 

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.