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FAFSA troubles may lead to decrease in college enrollment, experts warn – CNBC



Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

FAFSA Completion Rates Drop by 33% Compared to Last Year

Recent data shows that completion rates for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) have plunged by 33% compared to last year, causing concerns among students and counselors alike. Only 31% of the high school class of 2024 had completed the FAFSA as of March 8, leaving many wondering about their financial aid options for college.

School counselors are pointing to frustration and confusion among students as the main reasons for not completing the FAFSA. Students are worried about receiving enough financial aid to make college affordable, as the FAFSA is the gateway to federal aid money, including loans, work study, and grants.

An estimated 2.1 million students should be eligible for the maximum Pell Grant under the new aid formula, yet the number of Pell Grant recipients is expected to remain the same as last year due to slower FAFSA application submissions. FAFSA simplification was intended to increase the number of lower-income students applying for aid, but a decrease in completion rates could hinder students’ access to college opportunities.

The drop in FAFSA completion rates is alarming, as it may prevent students from securing the financial aid they need to pursue higher education. With college costs on the rise, it is essential for students to complete the FAFSA in a timely manner to ensure they have access to all available forms of financial aid.

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As the deadline for FAFSA submission approaches, students are urged to seek assistance from school counselors or financial aid offices to navigate the application process and maximize their chances of receiving aid. Failure to complete the FAFSA could potentially limit students’ ability to afford college and achieve their academic goals.

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Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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