Pushing up Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates is an important policy goal, because doing so will maximize the number of eligible students who receive support. As things stand, of the 30 percent of undergraduate students who did not apply for federal student aid in 2011-12, roughly a third were likely eligible for Pell Grants (though Pell Grant eligibility is difficult to estimate from survey data). For the purpose of awarding need-based aid, what matters most is increasing financial aid applications among those most likely to be eligible for financial aid. To learn more, read “FAFSA Completion Rates Matter: But Mind the Data” on the EdNext.org blog.

—Education Next

Last updated July 16, 2018