The Higher Education Compact tracks indicators that can determine whether a student is ready for college, will likely enroll, and is on track to graduate. A key access indicator – that is an indicator that is predictive of whether a student will actually enroll in college – is whether a student completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA opens the door to numerous federal grants and subsidized loans, state need-based aid, institutional aid and private scholarships. Without the resources unlocked by the FAFSA, most students are unable to afford college.
Since the FAFSA’s release on October 1, 2017, FAFSA completion at CMSD has trended ahead of last school year’s completion rates by 2.5 percentage points. As of January 19th (the most recently available data from the U.S. Department of Education), 812 students (35%) completed the FAFSA compared to 727 students (32.5%) in 2017.
The Compact is proud of this progress as it seeks to shift culture across Cleveland. The Compact will continue to engage with school administrators, school counselors, and College Now advisors on the topic of FAFSA completion. The Compact will also continue to provide FAFSA-related communication materials to students and families.
You can track CMSD’s FAFSA completion progress here.