Category Archives: Financial Aid

Students and Counselors Make the Case for a Streamlined FAFSA

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Educators, advocates, Hill staffers, and students gathered in Washington, DC, earlier this month to learn more about efforts by the National College Access Network (NCAN) to simplify the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).

The overarching goal of this new streamlined FAFSA is simple — stop making low-income students repeatedly prove that they are low-income. The NCAN report, Half the FASFA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Aid, includes three potential pathways to shorten the FAFSA.

For example, on one track, once a student has confirmed that their family earns a means-tested benefit such as SNAP (food assistance) or TANF (cash assistance), they are automatically sent to the signature portion of the form.

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Spread the Word: School Counselors Positively Impact College Access

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Need another reason to celebrate National School Counseling Week?

A recent NACAC study confirmed that students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid.

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Tips to Boost FAFSA Participation

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Looking for ways to boost FAFSA completion rates in your school district?

Erin Bibo, deputy chief of college & career programs with DC Public Schools, shared success strategies in a recent column published by Homeroom — the official blog of the US Department of Education.

“Financial aid plays a huge factor in students’ college-going decisions and success,” Bibo wrote. “For a large urban district like DC Public Schools, where 77 percent of our students qualify for free and reduced price lunch, getting graduating seniors to complete their FAFSAs on time isn’t an optional task, it’s a necessary one.”

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Track FAFSA Completion Rates by School, District

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Looking for a better way to chart FAFSA trends in your community?

Check out the US Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid Completion Tool.

The searchable database provides weekly updates for every high school where five or more students have filed a FAFSA. The form is completed annually by current and prospective college students to determine their eligibility for financial assistance.

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New Alliance Formed to Address College Access

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A group of 30 selective colleges has launched a new alliance aimed at expanding access to postsecondary education.

The American Talent Initiative (ATI) — whose founding members include several Ivy League and public flagship universities — seeks to bring a total of 50,000 low- and moderate-income students to universities with graduation rates of least 70 percent by 2025.

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Report: Counselors Positively Impact College Access

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Students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid, according to a new study released today by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The findings, culled from nationally representative data, are the first to demonstrate that school counselors have a positive impact on student outcomes that is both quantifiable and statistically significant.

NACAC’s latest research report — How Can High School Counseling Shape Students’ Postsecondary Attendance? — shows that 12th graders who talked about their future plans with a school counselor were:

  • 6.8 times more likely to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • 3.2 times more likely to attend college.
  • Two times more likely to attend a bachelor’s degree program.

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NACAC at ASHE: College Promise Programs

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Earlier this month, NACAC research associate Tara Nicola attended the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) to present NACAC work as well as stay abreast of the latest research in the field. This is the first in a series of posts highlighting exciting research relevant to admission and high school counseling professionals.

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Reminder: Keep an Eye on Financial Aid Deadlines

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Need financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year?

The US Department of Education is reminding students to remain cognizant of deadlines when completing the FAFSA.

While the FAFSA is primarily used to award federal financial aid, many colleges, states, and scholarship programs also use the form to assess eligibility for their aid programs.

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Report: Net Price Continues to Grow for College Students

Despite only modest increases to tuition and fees, the cost of a college education continues to outpace growth in financial aid, family incomes, and the average prices of other goods and services.

The findings are included in two reports — Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing — released this morning by The College Board.

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Infographic Helps Students Determine Parental Contributions on FAFSA

Editor’s note: A version of this postwas originally published on Admitted in December 2015.

Families are complicated.

Many children split their time between two or more homes. Others live with grandparents.

So it’s no surprise that questions abound each year as students determine how to record parental tax information on the FAFSA.

An infographic from the US Department of Education — Who’s My Parent When I Fill Out the FAFSA — can help students (and counselors) through the application process.

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