U.S. Department of Education Completes Over 10 Million FAFSA Forms

Over 65 Organizations Funded via Student Support Strategy Aimed at Boosting FAFSA Completion

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) declared today that it has successfully processed a total of more than 10 million 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) forms. Since introducing the Better FAFSA form, the Department has made substantial strides in resolving known form issues. Individuals who finalize a Better FAFSA online today can anticipate their records being forwarded to colleges within one to three days. Recent data indicates that nearly 90% of non-profit and four-year institutions are assembling and dispatching financial aid offers to students. The influx of FAFSA submissions in recent weeks has diminished the discrepancy from almost 40 percent two months ago to 12 percent currently, with a continuing downward trend. In a bid to urge better FAFSA submissions, the Department has formulated the FAFSA Support Strategy, now with two distinct elements, catering to higher education institutions as well as students and families across K-12 and higher education. The Department will persist in enhancing the FAFSA experience for students, families, and other key stakeholders.

“Thank you to the numerous educators, schools, financial aid officers, and community partners nationwide who have collaborated diligently, alongside the Department, to inspire students to complete FAFSA forms; we are now building genuine momentum,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We are committed to exhaustively exploring every avenue to achieve our objective of guaranteeing that every student receives the necessary assistance to unlock the transformative potential of higher education.”

FAFSA Student Support Strategy

To complement college assistance, the FAFSA Student Support Strategy was developed to amplify the number of students finishing their FAFSAs and enrolling in college, especially first-time college-goers and students from diverse racial backgrounds. Since the launch of the Student Support Strategy on May 6, over 65 organizations have been granted funds through the collaboration with ECMC and have already started leveraging this funding to escalate FAFSA submissions.

The initiatives encompass providing stipends to school counselors for hosting FAFSA completion events, introducing mobile FAFSA clinics, offering personalized support during FAFSA office hours, supplying language translation services, ensuring continued support throughout the summer, and other undertakings, all aimed at guaranteeing that students and families succeed in submitting the FAFSA.

Today, ECMC disclosed the initial set of organizations receiving funding through this program. In total, over 65 organizations have received funding, including the following instances outlined by ECMC:

Iowa College Access Network – intends to offer evening and weekend availability for in-person or virtual FAFSA completion appointments at each of its 7 offices statewide. Additionally, they will collaborate with school counselors to host up to 75 completion events for high schools and communities, along with conducting 4 FAFSA Step-by-Step webinars (including 2 fully in Spanish) for families. They also plan to recruit up to 50 school counselors to participate in the FAFSA completion initiative and strive locally to enhance completion rates in their schools.

College Access Fairfax, Falls Church, VA – will aid nearly 1,000 students in completing and submitting the FAFSA. They will conduct in-person completion events and arrange individual appointments for other students requiring assistance. CAF aims to employ translators to aid in communicating with families.

Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, Knoxville, TN – is set to conduct FAFSA completion events in Knoxville and the surrounding region, particularly in schools with substantial immigrant populations. Additionally, they will allocate extra staff time to maintain these efforts through the summer months.

Oregon TRIO Association, Astoria, OR – will host hands-on FAFSA Support Workshops in local communities during evenings and weekends, tailored specifically to assist students and parents in completing the FAFSA. They are also earmarking additional funds for staff to support extended hours for TRIO professionals, enabling them to conduct workshops beyond their regular duties.

FAFSA College Support Strategy

In February of this year, the Department earmarked funds to bolster higher education institutions through the FAFSA College Support Strategy. Within this framework, the Department is deploying federal personnel, allocating millions in technical assistance and support, and furnishing tools to aid schools in preparing to process student records as efficiently as possible. Currently, our partners have rendered assistance to over 270 institutions, including over 60 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Furthermore, FSA staff have collaborated closely with colleges, including conducting more than 100 campus visits.

Through its college and student support strategies, the Department is steadfast in its endeavor to ensure that students and families can access the maximum financial aid they are entitled to, while also providing schools with the requisite resources and support.

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