What is the FAFSA?

As college tuition prices continue to rise, it is more important than ever for students to take advantage of any aid opportunity that they can. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used by the federal government to determine a student's financial aid eligibility. For many families, the result of this application weighs heavily on a student's decision to attend college. 

Previously, FAFSA application rates were self-reported by the high school counselors. However, more recently Federal Student Aid has begun to provide individual high schools with data about its FAFSA completions. There is a storng correlation between the number of FAFSA applications completed and college enrollment. 

Two years ago, the State of Michigan's Class of 2016, faced its lowest college enrollment rate in six years. This number could be drastically changed if additional FAFSA applications were completed. However, completing this application may be daunting for both students and parents. Barriers to completion include lack of understanding, lack of access to W2 forms and bank statements, etc. 

As a student, have you completed your own FAFSA document? 

Do you have ideas for how to simplify the application process? 

Take a look at your high school's application rates using the following link: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/application-volume/fafsa-completion-high-school

I am looking forward to your thoughts.