If you’re curious how many students at your local high school complete the FAFSA, you can now check online.
For the first time, the Education Department is publicizing the number of seniors in each high school who have submitted and completed the Fafsa, which determines eligibility for many forms of financial aid. Students may have submitted their forms, but they may still be missing required information. Until the missing data is provided, the government cannot determine whether the student qualifies for federal aid.
High school counselors can use this information to see if their students are getting this part of the college application done. I looked at our local high school to see what percentage of graduating seniors complete the FAFSA. Out of about 210 students, only 121 (58%) had submitted FAFSA forms. Over 90% of this school’s graduates typically go on to attend college, but apparently many do not anticipate qualifying for financial assistance. Considering that this is a relatively affluent area in a high-cost part of the country, they are probably right.
Just out of curiosity, I looked at two other nearby high schools.
New Rochelle High School
Only 38% of the 770 high school seniors had submitted the FAFSA. Since their student population is economically and ethnically diverse with over 90% of their graduates going on to college or other institutions of higher learning, I am somewhat surprised by the low percentage. College Goal Sunday, a program dedicated to assisting students and families in accessing financial aid for college, hosted an all-day event at this high school in February. I participated that day, and my impression was that the school heavily promoted the availability of financial aid but many students remained unaware or uninterested.
Scarsdale High School
Only 23% of Scarsdale’s 370 high school seniors have submitted the FAFSA. Virtually all their graduates go on to college, but it is unlikely that many from this very affluent community qualify for financial aid.
If you are curious you can check your local high school at Data Center FAFSA Completion by High School.
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