|BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana has continued to climb the national ranking for the number of high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), according to the most recent report by the National College Access Network (NCAN). Louisiana is currently No.3 in the nation, up from No.8 last month, and leads the nation for completion growth since last year.
NCAN tracks states’ progress on its #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker. To date, more than 61 percent of Louisiana’s Class of 2018, about 30,000 students, have completed the form. The NCAN data counts applications from both public and private schools that are fully completed and processed.
The FAFSA is for all forms of federal financial aid, including Pell grants, work study programs, and federal student loans available to students to aid in the cost of education and technical training beyond high school. It is also required for Louisiana graduates to receive priority consideration for Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) scholarships.
Starting this year, Louisiana requires financial aid planning as a condition for high school graduation. The requirement, which is unique to Louisiana, is part of the state’s Financial Aid Access Policy, approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2015. According to the policy, all graduates must now complete a FAFSA, a TOPS scholarship form, or indicate they do not plan to apply for financial aid. If they do not complete one of these steps, they either will require a hardship waiver or will not be considered a graduate.