State wants school seniors to file FAFSA

HONOLULU — The state Department of Education has launched a new online tool to track completion rates for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, submittals.

Hawaii’s FAFSA Data Dashboard tracks the current number of completed applications at high schools statewide and illustrates schools’ progress individually, comparatively to other schools in the same complex area or across the state, and over time. FAFSA applications by high school seniors are a critical measure that serve as one predictor for college entrance.

“Each year the federal government offers more than $150 billion in federal student aid to help students pay for college, including free grant money that does not need to be repaid, along with scholarships, loans and tuition assistance,” said Hawaii DOE Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto.

“FAFSA applications open the door to college access for our graduates. We want to remind parents that this aid is not always need-based and it is important to complete applications as early as possible to avoid any delays in receiving aid.”

Since the opening of the current FAFSA application period on Oct. 1, some 42 percent of high school seniors have completed applications as of Jan. 11, an increase of 3 percentage points from the same time a year ago. This completion rate ranks Hawaii as 11th-highest nationally as of Jan. 11.

The state DOE has set a goal to have 70 percent of high school seniors complete the FAFSA in school year 2018-19 and 90 percent in SY 2019-20. The federal deadline for online FAFSA applications is June 30.



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