BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Mar. 29, 2022) – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens doors for students to access and receive federal, public, and private financial aid for postsecondary pathways. For the first time, the state of Alabama is ranked 19th in the nation for FAFSA completion and 2nd in year-over-year change. This milestone could be attributed to multiple factors including the resolution passed last April making FAFSA completion an opt-out policy in which high school graduating seniors have to complete FAFSA or sign an opt-out waiver before graduation.
Educators, counselors, and career coaches alike have come together to ensure that students understand the opportunities that they can avail themselves of by completing their FAFSA. From virtual and in-person FAFSA nights to pizza parties, students have been encouraged to take control of their future and complete their FAFSAs. FAFSA completion is consistently associated with positive postsecondary outcomes; according to the U.S. Department of Education, 92 percent of students who complete a FAFSA enroll in college during fall semester.
Alabama has seen increased collaboration, training, and support for FAFSA completion without additional funding from the state. At the epicenter of the support is the Alabama Goes to College Campaign that serves as a resource for educators, students, and families. This campaign equips high school counselors and career coaches with tools and connects them with relationships that are needed for them to successfully assist their students in the postsecondary journey.
“The launching of the FAFSA policy has strengthened collaborative efforts with high school counselors and 2- and 4-year colleges and universities across the state which is a significant act that’s essential to increasing the number of students who enter a postsecondary pathway. This collective support is not only vital to helping us achieve the overall goal of having 500,000 Alabamians with valuable credentials, but is also a catalyst to increasing awareness and bridging resources and talents that are essential to breaking barriers to prosperity in our state,” states Chandra Scott the Executive Director of Alabama Possible.
We acknowledge that we are a long way from ensuring that every student in the state of Alabama leverages the financial aid available to them to fulfill their dreams of pursuing education beyond high school, but this progress in the positive direction has validated that we are on the right track. To sustain this success, we must raise awareness of the importance of FAFSA completion and fund supports necessary for students and their families to effectively chart their postsecondary pathway.
About Alabama Possible
Alabama Possible is a statewide nonprofit organization that breaks down barriers to prosperity through advocacy, education, and collaboration. We influence public policy to ensure every high school graduate in our state can pursue technical or academic credentials after high school. Our programs connect Alabama’s educational leaders, students, and families with the resources necessary to cultivate a college-going culture and equitable educational attainment. For more information, visit www.alabamapossible.org.