The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. Completing the FAFSA is important because it creates opportunities for more equitable access to higher education. It is an essential piece of the college application process and is a strong predictor for postsecondary enrollment: High school seniors who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in postsecondary education (NCAN, 2017a).
NCAN conducted this qualitative research study to highlight best practices for increasing FAFSA completion among low-income high school seniors, with the goal of helping to ensure more underserved students obtain the federal financial aid they need to attend college. Members of the higher education community are encouraged to consider these findings to improve their own organization’s FAFSA completion efforts and to inform organizational policies aimed at increasing FAFSA completion rates.Download