Scholarship News

Mandatory FAFSA Policy to Become New Graduation Requirement?


August 18, 2020 2:22 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Each year, upwards of $3 million in college financial aid goes unclaimed by low-income college students, despite the fact that it costs nothing to complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and that more than half of U.S. high school graduates qualify for free federal student aid. To help close the gap of unused and unmet financial aid for many students, states are beginning to enact Mandatory FAFSA policies, which require high school seniors to either apply for federal student aid or opt-out before they graduate. So far, the results have been promising for three states who are leading the way.

Each year, upwards of $3 million in college financial aid goes unclaimed by low-income college students, despite the fact that it costs nothing to complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and that more than half of U.S. high school graduates qualify for free federal student aid. To help close the gap of unused and unmet financial aid for many students, states are beginning to enact "Mandatory FAFSA" policies, which require high school seniors to either apply for federal student aid or opt-out before they graduate. So far, the results have been promising for three states who are leading the way.

ADVERTISEMENT

Louisiana is currently the only state to have fully enacted the FAFSA mandate that requires high school seniors to submit their FAFSA or an opt-out waiver in order to graduate. The outcome? In only one year, it closed the gap in completed FAFSA applications between high- and low-income school districts by 87 percent. Within two years, the gap was completely closed, according to Inside Higher Ed. Illinois school districts are required to help parents and students navigate the FAFSA application process and to make a "good faith effort" in assisting them before allowing them to opt-out of the requirement. In Texas, while school counselors are able to waive students' requirement as they see fit, they are incentivized by a new performance-based funding policy to maximize the number of students who file the FAFSA.

A study of the mandatory FAFSA policy reports that it is a less costly and "easy solution to FAFSA completion." The policy - coupled with hands-on support for students and families in completing the FAFSA - not only increases FAFSA completion rates and college enrollment, but shows potential in "correcting long-standing disparities in FAFSA completion between high-poverty, diverse school districts and their lower-poverty, less diverse peers."

In such fiscally-challenging times where rising college costs and college affordability are some of the major deterrents in pursuing a postsecondary education, lawmakers nationwide are intervening with what is considered to be "one of the fastest-moving movements in college access policy." Do you support the high school graduation requirement of completing the FAFSA? Why or why not?

Get instantly matched to scholarships that meet your skillset, strengths and unique talents. Our search algorithms match you to scholarships that fit your profile. Access a complete list of college scholarships now by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
When it comes to a student’s overall success, experts have found that a college’s location on the map is equally as important as the quality of the school’s curriculum and social environment. According to Forbes,  these colleges ranked #1 for each of these categories: large city, midsize city, and small city college towns out of 415 U.S. cities. When planning your next campus visit, consider schools in these top-rated college towns.

Best U.S. College Towns 2022

January 21, 2022 11:05 AM
by Liz Montenegro
When it comes to a student’s overall success, experts have found that a college’s location on the map is equally as important as the quality of the school’s curriculum and social environment.
On this year’s 27th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day in the United States, the national day of service has transformed into an entire MLK Week on college and university campuses around the country to honor the legacy and to continue the work of Dr. King toward greater equality, diversity, and inclusion of all people through nonviolence.

MLK Week Events Guide 2022

January 19, 2022 1:35 PM
by Liz Montenegro
On this year’s 27th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day in the United States, the national day of service has transformed into an entire MLK Week on college and university campuses
There are quite a few myths surrounding scholarships. Perhaps you’ve heard the most common misconception: that scholarships are only meant for graduating high school seniors. Let’s debunk this myth today by connecting you with scholarships created for high school freshmen and up.

Scholarships for All High School Students

January 12, 2022 9:56 AM
by Liz Montenegro
There are quite a few myths surrounding scholarships. Perhaps you’ve heard the most common misconception: that scholarships are only meant for graduating high school seniors. Let’s debunk this myth
Are you recognized across your campus and community for your activism driven by your passion for the environment? Channel your fervor for a greener future into funding for college. If you have a desire to make a lasting impact on our world and the track record to prove it, take a look at these scholarships. You can also find a full list of scholarships for environmental activists here.

January Scholarships for Environmental Activists

January 7, 2022 1:32 PM
by Liz Montenegro
Are you recognized across your campus and community for your activism driven by your passion for the environment? Channel your fervor for a greener future into funding for college. If you have a
The New Year promises a fresh beginning. You get to start off with a clean slate and leave last year’s worries behind. As we kick off a new semester, we all want to improve in some way and make this year better than the last.

Students, Make Your 2022 Resolutions Stick

January 5, 2022 12:14 PM
by Liz Montenegro
The New Year promises a fresh beginning. You get to start off with a clean slate and leave last year’s worries behind. As we kick off a new semester, we all want to improve in some way and make this
You’ve made it to your last year of high school- senior year- and graduation is just a few short months away! You are so close to taking that deep sigh of relief and starting the next chapter of your life, but it’s not quite over yet.

Tips for Curing Senioritis

December 30, 2021 1:44 PM
by Liz Montenegro
You’ve made it to your last year of high school- senior year- and graduation is just a few short months away! You are so close to taking that deep sigh of relief and starting the next chapter of your
If you’re a high school student, it’s never too early to start making your list of colleges. As you narrow down your search, the best way to decide on the best fit for you is to step foot on campus, get a feel for the campus culture, and ask the right questions. Do you see yourself studying in a college town or a more urban area? Does a large student body sound exciting, or would you prefer a smaller, more intimate school setting? Since most of the college’s facts can be found online, you will want to find out the “real deal” that only a living, breathing human being can answer, so that you can see how the school’s information is manifested in students’ daily lives.

5 Questions to Ask at Your Next College Tour

December 29, 2021 10:11 AM
by Liz Montenegro
If you’re a high school student, it’s never too early to start making your list of colleges. As you narrow down your search, the best way to decide on the best fit for you is to step foot on campus,
Choosing which college to attend is a huge decision that involves many factors to consider. For a Christian student who is weighing their options, there are quite a few benefits to attending a Christian college. For starters, campus culture is important no matter where you go, but Christian colleges offer a faith-based environment where you can be surrounded by students and staff who share your core values. Campus activities such as chapel and religious services, Bible studies, and extracurriculars offered on Christian campuses are designed to help you grow in your faith.

Featured Christian Scholarship Programs

December 22, 2021 1:47 PM
by Liz Montenegro
Choosing which college to attend is a huge decision that involves many factors to consider. For a Christian student who is weighing their options, there are quite a few benefits to attending a