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.


6 Ways to Make FAFSA Completion a Community-Wide Effort

This piece originally appeared on the Principal Project blog. It is reposted here with permission. By Ralph Aiello For many students, the ability to enroll in and complete college hinges on financial barriers that can feel outside of a family’s control. The truth is, students who need aid to attend college are often eligible for […]

Sep 14, 2021 |
MCAN’s Strategies to Engage Students and Facilitate FAFSA Completion During the Summer – or Any Time

By Sara Melnick, Deputy Director, National College Attainment Network As of the writing of this blog post, FAFSA completions among high school seniors are down 4.3% from last year. But some states have found ways to buck this downward trend and engage students during the summer months. NCAN recently hosted a webinar highlighting some of […]

Sep 2, 2021 |
3 More States Add FAFSA Completion as a Requirement for High School Graduation

By Raymond AlQaisi, Policy and Advocacy Manager, National College Attainment Network In an apparent resurgence to the growing “mandatory FAFSA” movement, three new states – Alabama, California, and Colorado – have adopted policies that will make completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a high school graduation requirement. In 2020, more than […]

Aug 3, 2021 |
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 |