Should the FAFSA be mandatory?

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Should high schoolers need to complete the FAFSA in order to graduate?

CEOs from two college access organizations — uAspire and CollegeSpring — think so.

“The need for young people to receive some kind of postsecondary education is more important than ever before, as a greater percentage of occupations require advanced education,” uAspire’s Bob Giannino and CollegeSpring’s Yoon Choi write in a recent op-ed published by The Hechinger Report. “…Even if students don’t enroll right away, they will be armed with the knowledge that funds exist to help them pay for higher education.”

Three states — Illinois, Louisiana, and Texas — have already adopted the requirement.

As leaders from more states consider similar measures, Giannino and Choi encourage a comprehensive approach to boosting postsecondary enrollment. Making the FAFSA mandatory won’t solve the country’s college access issues, they write. Students deserve a simplified FAFSA form and greater access to college counselors.

“We see in our daily work how important it is for these efforts to be accompanied by adequate supports for students, schools, and families,” Giannino and Choi write.

Read the full op-ed and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org. 

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