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, increasing the FAFSA completion rate for Cash for College schools by 23 percent year over year.

Currently, more than 300 schools participate in the Cash for College campaign and, together, the students at these schools have completed almost 10,000 FAFSAs from October 1 to December 1. Alabama Possible is thrilled to see this progress, and wishes to acknowledge early FAFSA completion efforts through a new award called the Best Hustle Award.

The Cash for College program created the Best Hustle Award for schools that reach a FAFSA completion improvement rate of 10 percent or higher during the period of October 1 to December 1. In total, 60 percent, or 180 Cash for College schools, earned the 2017 Best Hustle Award. Altogether, these schools have completed 7,124 FAFSAs. Alabama Possible applauds the counselors, career coaches, teachers, leadership, and students for their dedication to early FAFSA completion.

The Best Hustle Award winners can be found here.

Alabama high schools must continue to promote early FAFSA completion as the March 31, 2018 priority deadline approaches. If students do not complete the form early, they are likely to miss out on financial aid opportunities. In 2016, Alabama left $43.3 million in grants on the table.

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 $5,920 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.