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Experts Warn of Decrease in College Enrollment Due to FAFSA Issues – CNBC



Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

FAFSA Completion Rates Decline Among High School Class of 2024

Only 31% of the high school class of 2024 had completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as of March 8, marking a significant 33% decline compared to the previous year. School counselors are noticing a trend of students becoming frustrated and giving up on the FAFSA application process, leading to a decrease in applications overall.

Many students lack confidence that they will receive the financial aid needed to make college affordable, which is a key factor contributing to the decline in FAFSA completion rates. The FAFSA is the gateway to federal aid money, including loans, work-study, and grants, with grants being the most desirable type of assistance for students.

Despite a new aid formula that should make an additional 2.1 million students eligible for the maximum Pell Grant, the number of recipients may not increase due to slower FAFSA application rates. The goal of FAFSA simplification was to increase the number of lower-income students applying for aid, but the decrease in applications could potentially cause problems for students seeking financial assistance for college.

FAFSA completion is crucial for students to pave the way to college, as it opens up opportunities for financial assistance that can make higher education more affordable. It is important for students to complete the FAFSA in a timely manner in order to access the financial aid resources available to them.

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