FAFSA Completion: A Key to Increasing College Access for All Students

Kim CookThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA, is the key to unlocking federal, state, and institutional aid to help pay for college. But in 2018, only 60.9 percent of the nation’s high school seniors completed this crucial form before graduation.

This is where the National College Access Network’s Form Your Future® Campaign comes in. Form Your Future is a national initiative to increase FAFSA completion by high school seniors, specifically low-income students and students of color. These students are less likely to apply for financial aid, even though they could benefit from it most.

Earlier this month, NCAN launched a revitalized Form Your Future website to support schools and nonprofit organizations that help students and families with FAFSA completion.

The updated Form Your Future site includes the following free resources:

NCAN encourages you to share the Form Your Future website with your local high schools and other organizations that support low-income high school students or families. Form Your Future builds on decades of FAFSA completion assistance by organizations at the local and state level, including high schools, colleges and universities, college access and success nonprofits, state higher education agencies, and state chapters of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

Form Your FutureAnd if your organization or community has had success boosting FAFSA completions, we’d love to hear from you and share your story on the Form Your Future blog to help inspire others.

By working together, we can help more students access financial aid and achieve their education dreams.

This year’s improvements to formyourfuture.org were made possible with the generous support of Ascendium Education Group and The Kresge Foundation as part of the 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge.

If you would like to learn more about the new Form Your Future website and how to make the most of it, you can register for NCAN’s Dec. 6 webinar which will offer an overview of the key resources available via the site.

Kim Cook, NCAN’s executive director since 2008, has worked in the higher education and college access field for her entire professional career. As a former Pell Grant recipient herself, she personally understands the imperative to help more Americans – especially those who have been historically underserved by higher education – get a postsecondary credential. At NCAN, she sets the vision for supporting more than 400 member organizations across the country serving an estimated 2 million students annually in their mission to achieve significantly higher college enrollment and graduation rates than national averages for low-income students and students of color.

Kim holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Pace University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Law, Economics, and Government from American University.