Urban FAFSA Completion Rates Are All Over the Map

Posted by National College Access Network on December 12, 2016

Urban FAFSA Completion Rates Are All Over the Map
By Elizabeth Morgan, Director of External Relations, and Courtney Argenti, Graduate Policy Intern, NCAN

Ninety percent of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA proceed directly to college, versus only 55 percent who don’t complete the FAFSA. So how good are high school FAFSA completion rates in cities and school districts in the United States? Because these data weren’t easily available until recently, this is a fertile question for exploration and benchmarking.

Earlier this year, the National College Access Network gathered FAFSA completion data for the graduating high school class of 2015 from 68 U.S. cities as part of grant applications for The Kresge Foundation’s FAFSA Completion Challenge. Twenty-two cities received grants of up to $55,000 to help raise FAFSA completion rates for the high school class of 2017. We learned that ranged extraordinarily, from as low as 25 percent to as high as 68 percent. Completion rates did not correlate with city population size or poverty rate. And the average FAFSA completion rate among the 68 cities was 48 percent.

Download the report here,


or read more on NCAN’s blog.


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