The National College Access Network has announced that twenty-two cities will receive up to $55,000 through its FAFSA Completion Challenge.
With support from the Kresge Foundation in the form of a $1.6 million grant, NCAN will challenge participating cities to boost completion rates for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by at least 5 percent for the graduating class of 2017. Funds re-granted by NCAN will support the planning and execution of citywide FAFSA completion efforts for the 2016-17 school year, including efforts aimed at helping students navigate changes and new deadlines for the financial aid form that are expected to benefit low-income students who might not have filled it out in the past.
In addition to grants, NCAN will award three to five prizes totaling $300,000 in September 2017 to the city that demonstrates the greatest percentage-point increase in high school FAFSA completion rates; the city that achieves the highest completion rate in 2017; and the city that implements the most innovative or collaborative completion strategy and/or partnership with a postsecondary institution or institutions.
"We know FAFSA completion is strongly associated with postsecondary enrollment, yet every year millions of students who are eligible for aid never complete the FAFSA," said Bill Moses, Kresge’s managing director for education. "That's especially true for low-income students who could use the federal assistance the most. Through this challenge, Kresge is proud to partner with NCAN to strengthen our country’s urban higher education ecosystems to get more low-income students into college."
For a complete list of selected cities and organizations, see the NCAN website.