St. Paul, Minn. — For many people, one of the largest barriers for attending higher education is the cost. While financial aid options are often available, data shows that many students miss out on accessing these resources. In Minnesota, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is 51.3 percent, ranking the state 38 in the nation for filing rates.
With this recognition that only half of those eligible to file for federal financial aid complete the application, the State of Minnesota has set a goal to increase FAFSA filing by five percentage points every year for the next five years, with a focus on closing gaps in filing for Black, Indigenous, and other students of color.
There is a direct correlation between filing the FAFSA and enrolling in a postsecondary program. In fact, filing the FAFSA is considered to be the single greatest indicator that a student will enroll in college following graduation from high school. By increasing the number of people who file for the FAFSA, the Office of Higher Education (OHE) hopes to make continued progress around the state’s larger attainment goal: to have 70 percent of Minnesotans, age 25 to 44, earn a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2025.
Regardless of income, filing a FAFSA is valuable for everyone because it will determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid. In addition, many schools will not consider students for any of their scholarships, including academic scholarships, until a FAFSA has been submitted.
School counselors are encouraged to sign up for access to the FAFSA completion tool, which will allow counselors to track the individual submission statuses of their students. Other resources for students families, include:“7 Things You Need Before Filling Out the FAFSA Form” and “8 Steps to Completing the FAFSA Form.”
File your FAFSA today at https://studentaid.gov/fafsa-app or download the mobile app.
For more information, contact OHE Communications Director Keith Hovis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Minnesota Office of Higher Education
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. The agency also serves as the state's clearinghouse for data, research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance and trends.