Every year, one of the questions high school college counselors ask themselves is “Did my students complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)”? This year, Hawai‘i P-20, is making it easier for counselors to answer that question. By working in collaboration with the University of Hawai‘i System Financial Aid office (UHFinAid) and the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office, Hawai‘i P-20 is disseminating student-level FAFSA completion data back to the students’ high school. Counselors receive data that shows them which students have successfully completed the FAFSA and which students need additional follow up. Data is being sent on a monthly basis starting in November and a bi-monthly basis starting in January.
Last year’s HIDOE Class of 2017 completed over 5,700 FAFSA applications, which is the highest number of applications in the past six years. By providing this new set of data to schools, Hawai‘i P-20 hopes applications will continue to increase. Research has shown a direct correlation between FAFSA completion and college enrollment. The National College Access Network (NCAN) reports a high school student who completes the FAFSA is 63 percent more likely to attend college.