The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens doors for students to receive federal, public and private financial aid for their postsecondary journeys. Keep reading to learn the importance of FAFSA completion and why it matters to our state!
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA qualifies students for federal financial aid. FAFSA completion is often required for students to be eligible for different institutional scholarships, which are not always dependent on family income level.
Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and (surprise!) very easy to complete. It gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school/training. Not something you want to pass up!
Why does it matter?
FAFSA completion is consistently associated with positive postsecondary outcomes. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 92% of students who complete the FAFSA enroll in college during fall semester. Increasing completion is not only important for the families and individuals receiving the aid, but for Alabama as a whole.
This has already been seen following last year’s policy making completion an opt-out policy where high school graduating seniors must complete the FAFSA or sign an opt-out waiver to graduate.
“The launching of the FAFSA policy has strengthened collaborative efforts with high school counselors and 2- and 4-year colleges and universities across the state which is a significant act that’s essential to increasing the number of students who enter a postsecondary pathway. This collective support is not only vital to helping us achieve the overall goal of having 500,000 Alabamians with valuable credentials, but is also a catalyst to increasing awareness and bridging resources and talents that are essential to breaking barriers to prosperity in our state.”Chandra Scott, Executive Director, Alabama Possible
Education after high school is associated with all sorts of positive outcomes, like financial, civic, health and so many more. By raising awareness of increasing FAFSA completion rates, we’re investing in Alabama’s students and future workforce. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Not quite convinced yet? Here are three reasons why it’s so important (and easy) to complete the FAFSA:
1. You can access money that’s otherwise left on the table
Every year, millions of students who are eligible to receive aid don’t complete the FAFSA and money is left that could have helped them achieve their future goals.
By not filling it out, students are missing out on a pretty good deal. It’s a free application helping students reach their education goals that they may have never even considered possible otherwise. By pursuing those goals, they’re helping the state prosper as well. Sounds like a no-brainer!
2. It takes about an hour to complete
Despite what you may have heard, completing the FAFSA is not difficult. On average, it takes less than an hour to complete. Even if it does take a while, possible hundreds or thousands of dollars towards an education will be well worth the time.
Pick an afternoon, watch one less Netflix episode and complete the FAFSA. You’ll never regret an hour of working towards your future!
3. It’s an investment in the future
Whether you’re a future student yourself, a parent of one or just want to see a bright future for our state, increasing awareness of the importance of FAFSA completion is an investment in your future.
Increasing awareness and completion will create a variety of outcomes: Families who may think they can’t afford college will have new opportunities, the state gets a better educated workforce and students can be hopeful they will achieve goals they never considered possible.
“The FAFSA to me is more than just part of a checklist. It is about opening up a conversation that may have never been had if a student wouldn’t have completed the FAFSA. It can truly be a generational game changer.”Chandra Scott, Executive Director, Alabama Possible
Resources—everything you need
- Alabama Goes to College, a program created by Alabama Possible, provides tools for students to plan for, pursue and complete valuable postsecondary credentials. They offer resources for not only students, but for their families and educators to help them as well.
- AlabamaWorks is a network of providers of workforce services that train, prepare and match job seekers with employers. Everything you need to prepare for you, your child or your students’ future.
- Ready to get started? Complete the FAFSA here!
Stay connected with all of the workforce education and training events with AlabamaWorks!