Last year, as high school seniors left their physical schools and moved to a virtual setting, our analysts observed a meaningful slowdown in FASFA submissions nationwide compared to what we would have expected to see in a typical year. Due to the on-going impacts of the pandemic, many of this year’s high school seniors are still navigating their fall semester with limited guidance counselor interaction, creating concern that there is a continued risk of fewer families submitting FAFSAs for this coming year as well.
Though there are many reasons that students and families do not submit the FAFSA, research suggests that better instruction, support, and encouragement can help. In concert with your team’s efforts, our student communication and financial aid experts have created a suite of adaptable, ready-to-use content you can use on your website and in your communications stream to encourage FAFSA submissions.
To make the content easy to use, we made it available in multiple editable formats:
- PDF and HTML versions available
- Logo and branding customizations pre-built
- Adjust the HTML text to meet your needs
- Resources are colloquial and easy to understand
We hope your team and prospective families will benefit from these tools, which take our best practices from student communication and applies them to the financial aid process.
Instructions for saving the PDF after editing:
- In the top menu, select File > Print.
- Select the PDF printer (The Adobe PDF printer should be installed with Adobe Acrobat. Numerous free PDF printer drivers are also available for download from the internet.)
- Select OK.
- Specify location to save the printed, “flattened” version of the form.
- Select save.
- In the top menu, select file > Export to.
- Select export to > Microsoft Word.
- Specify location to save the document.
Concise, accessible content that addresses seven obstacles we’ve identified as the most common barriers to FAFSA submission or to successfully navigating the financial aid process, particularly for underrepresented minorities and first-generation students. Each can be used as stand-alone content or piecemeal to augment your existing financial aid resources.
Student-focused email, SMS and social media content that centers on FAFSA filing, priority date awareness and counseling outreach that can be used to enhance your existing communications stream.
5 recommendations to create urgency around FAFSA submissions
Encouraging students and their families to file their FAFSAs, while also offering the resources they need to do so, is more critical this year than ever.