FAFSA Challenge: Help your senior look for financial aid

Seniors and their parents – have you filled out the FAFSA yet?  It’s not too late to look for financial help for the next step in your child’s education.

Dearborn Public Schools is joining the Michigan FAFSA Challenge to encourage more of our students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  

Many families skip the form, feeling like college is out of reach for their children financially or that they will not qualify for assistance.  But the FAFSA is key to unlocking financial assistance from the federal government and the college or post-secondary program that your student is interested in attending.  Many universities offer scholarships or reduced tuition for low- and middle-income families, but those decisions are often based on information the student and family provide on the FAFSA.

The form is free to complete and gathers financial information from the student and parents.  Students can start the form at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.

About one-quarter of the district’s seniors had completed the FAFSA by late January.  We are hoping to raise that number significantly by the end of the challenge on March 1.

It is estimated that 25,000 Michigan students who were eligible for federal Pell Grants to help pay for college did not file a FAFSA last year, meaning almost $100 million in possible assistance went unclaimed, according to a press release from the Governor’s office.  The state is hoping to get 75 percent of seniors to complete the FAFSA.

“Every student deserves a path to a quality, affordable postsecondary education, and filling out FAFSA forms can make an enormous difference for families across the state,” Gov. Gretechen Whitmer said in the release. “I just finished helping my daughter fill out her FAFSA application while she applied to colleges. It’s simple and can help students everywhere get on a path to a quality postsecondary education.”