Minnesota has a statewide goal for FAFSA filing! To combat recent declines in FAFSA filing among Minnesota’s high school seniors, the 2020 Minnesota Legislature enacted legislation directing the Office of Higher Education (OHE) to set an annual goal for FAFSA filing among high school seniors. For the class of 2021, only 48% of seniors filed a FAFSA, an all-time low in recent years. In coordination with the Minnesota Department of Education, OHE has set a goal of increasing FAFSA filing by 5 percentage points every year for 5 years, with a focus on closing gaps in FAFSA filing for Black, Indigenous, and other students of color. Therefore, for the class of 2022, our state’s goal is to see FAFSA filing increase to 53%, while closing gaps in FAFSA filing by race/ethnicity.
Regardless of income, filing a FAFSA is valuable for everyone because it determines eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid. Some families do not file a FAFSA because they believe they make too much money. The reality is that there is no income cut-off to qualify for federal student aid, and filing a FAFSA means that you are automatically applying for state funding, like the Minnesota State Grant. In fact, many schools will not consider students for any institutional aid, including academic scholarships, until a FAFSA has been submitted.