The Guide


We’ve collected personal stories, successful tactics, and strategies that illustrate what schools and communities are doing to encourage FAFSA completion. Have your own story to share? Drop us a line, and we’ll consider posting it here.


FAFSA Completion Declines Nearly 5%; Nation Loses 270K FAFSAs Since 2019

By Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation, National College Attainment Network Key Takeaways: Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to access federal grants and loans, as well as many types of state and institutional financial aid. By July 2, the high school class of 2021 completed 4.8% fewer FAFSAs than […]

Jul 22, 2021 |
5 Noteworthy FAFSA Trends: New Federal Student Aid Data for 2018-19 and 2019-20 Cycles

By Raymond AlQaisi, Policy and Advocacy Manager, National College Attainment Network After five years of declining total filers for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the 1% year-over-year increase in filers during the 2017-18 cycle was a bright spot for FAFSA completion. With the release of data on the demographics of FAFSA filers […]

Jul 19, 2021 |
Camryn: Becoming More Than a Statistic

A College Now advisor got Camryn thinking about funding options beyond an athletic scholarship for college. Completing the FAFSA gave him more options to consider.

Apr 17, 2021 |
Tyshae: Not Shy About Asking for Help

Encouragement from her college advisor made all the difference for Tyshae when it came time to complete the FAFSA.

Mar 22, 2021 |
NCAN Members Find Ways to Offer FAFSA Assistance, Despite COVID Barriers

By Ainsley Ash, NCAN Communications Intern Anyone in the college access and success space knows Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion is crucial to increasing the odds that a student will pursue postsecondary education. According to one study, 92% of high school seniors who completed the FAFSA enrolled by the November following graduation, […]

Mar 3, 2021 |
FAFSA Completions Bounce in December, Still Down 12.3%

On Nov. 27, the 2021-22 FAFSA cycle hit its low point of -16.8% FAFSA completions compared to the 2020-21 cycle on the same date. On Dec. 25, the 2021-22 FAFSA cycle was at -12.3%.

Jan 7, 2021 |