Six schools – including Basis Flagstaff, Ash Fork High School and Tuba City High School – have shown they are up to the challenge: the Arizona FAF$A Challenge.
The schools were winners of the inaugural challenge, a statewide effort to improve the state’s completion rate for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). More than 400 Arizona high schools participated in the Arizona FAF$A Challenge from Oct. 1, 2018, through the end of March 2019. Progress for each school and overall completion rates for the challenge were compiled at www.fafsachallenge.az.gov.
The Arizona FAF$A Challenge is a partnership between the Arizona Governor’s Office of Education, Arizona commission for Postsecondary Education, Achieve 60AZ and the Governor’s FAFSA Completion Coalition. The effort aims to raise the overall statewide completion rate for Arizona to 50% from 43% in 2018. The national completion rate is 60.9%.
Completion of the FAFSA is a critical step for students considering attending college. The form is used to help determine federal aid eligibility for college aid such as grants, student loans, work study and some scholarships. More than 18,000 Arizona students who were eligible last year did not receive a Pell Grant because they did not complete the FAFSA, equaling approximately $65 million in funds that could have been used to help fund a post-secondary education.
“We are excited to honor these six schools, along with every school in the state that has worked to increase out FAFSA completion rates,” said April L. Osborn, executive director of the Commission for Postsecondary Education. “By completing the 30-minute application form, our students have significant opportunities for financial aid that can help get them to and through college. This is an extremely important step for our students and their future.”
The following schools have been honored with the highest overall completion rates for their senior class of all schools in the state of Arizona.
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MVP- Highest FAFSA completion rate:
- Small schools size category: Basis Flagstaff
- Medium school size category: University High School, Tucson
- Large school size category: Sunnyside High School, Pima County
Most improved FAFSA completion rate:
- Small school size category: Ash Fork High School, Ash Fork
- Medium school size category: Tuba City High School, Tuba City
- Large school size category: Dobson High School, Mesa
Each winning school will receive a trophy and Dell Laptop to award a deserving graduating senior of their choice who has completed the FAFSA application.