High School Seniors Encourage Peers to Complete the FAFSA

As Louisiana’s high school seniors prepare for graduation and college, affording college may be a unique challenge, due to job loss within families as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance has long advocated for students to focus on finding opportunities for financial assistance, things like grants and scholarships, to help pay for college. One thing each student can control, especially during times of uncertainty, is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to maximize the amount of gift aid (free money).

The latest statistics, from the 2018-19 school year, show $2.6 billion was left on the table because students did not complete the FAFSA. “If you plan on going to college, completing your FAFSA is absolutely crucial,” said Noah Miller, a high school senior at Jewel M. Sumner High School. “You really need to make use of all the financial aid and scholarship opportunities that are offered to you.” “Not filling out the FAFSA, if you plan on going to college would be a big mistake,” Miller said.

The FAFSA provides access to federal aid such as the Pell Grant, Work-Study and Federal Student Loans. The FAFSA is also the application for state aid like the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), TOPS Tech, and the Louisiana GO Grant. Colleges and universities also receive money to award students, some of which is first-come, first-serve. If a student waits too long to complete their FAFSA, they could possibly miss out on potential financial aid dollars.



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