Alabama Possible will celebrate high schools across the state this week for significant achievements in advancing a college-going culture at their schools through increasing financial aid applications. 

Alabama Possible manages the Cash for College Alabama campaign, which teams up with school counselors, career coaches and other educators at high schools across the state to promote completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Since kicking off the 2017 campaign on October 1, Cash for College and its partners have worked alongside thousands of students and families at over 300 schools in 65 counties to complete nearly 22,000 FAFSAs. 

With a statewide improvement rate of 7.5 percent year over year, Alabama is ranked in the top four states nationally for statewide improvement according to the #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker 

The Cash for College Alabama campaign is pleased to announce the top schools for highest FAFSA completion and improvement rates. The schools with the highest completion rates of their senior classes are Amelia L. Johnson, Booker T. Washington Magnet, and Benjamin J. Russell. The schools with the highest improvement rates compared to the same time period last year are North Sand Mountain, Lillie B. Williamson, and Pinson Valley.

“We are thrilled to see that Alabama is ranked at the near top of the list nationally for improvement in FAFSA completion,” said Kristina Scott, executive director of Alabama Possible. “Too often, we focus on Alabama’s low rankings, so we’re ready to celebrate this win. We’re also ready to celebrate the schools and students who are making it happen. Many people across the state realized we left $45.3 million in college aid on the table last year, so it’s exciting to see students taking steps to avoid that same issue in 2018.” 

These schools will receive a grant at a campaign celebration on June 21 at Lawson State Community College’s Birmingham campus. Schools are awarded by their senior class size (small, medium and large). Alabama Possible applauds these schools’ dedication to FAFSA completion and for being leaders in the state. 

Any student seeking federal or state financial aid – including grants, loans, and work-study programs – must complete the FAFSA. Many students will qualify for Pell Grants of up to $6,195 per year. Students can use Pell Grants for two-year and four-year technical and academic programs. If you want to learn more about the FAFSA and Cash for College, visit cashforcollegealabama.org. 

Cash for College Alabama is a partnership of Alabama Possible, the Alabama State Department of Education, Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama, and the Alabama Media Group. 

*Note: The text was updated to reflect a $100 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2019-2020 academic year.