As students plan to continue their education after high school, they are often faced with the overwhelming task of figuring out how to afford their next steps. Although most high school seniors in Alabama qualify for free federal aid, nearly half of students fail to complete the application required to access this aid each year.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid. Even though completing the FAFSA is a strong predictor of whether students enroll in postsecondary education the fall following high school graduation, Alabama students leave millions of dollars of free aid on the table annually.

To ensure Alabama students can access financial aid to pursue postsecondary pathways, high school counselors and careers coaches dedicate time to promoting the FAFSA. As FAFSA completion became part of the high school graduation checklist, educators have invested in effective FAFSA strategies tailored to their student population and community.

Every year, the Alabama Goes to College Campaign recognizes high schools with the highest FAFSA completion rates and the greatest FAFSA improvement rates. While these schools represent many different regions of the state, they share enthusiasm for supporting students in this postsecondary task. The following profiles outline each school’s most successful practices for promoting FAFSA completion.

Featured schools:
Barbour County High School
Decatur High School
Geneva County High School
Hartselle High School
Ramsay High School
Woodlawn High School


2021-22 Case Studies