May 14 2024

Achieve receives state grant to strengthen FAFSA completion support

FAFSA website image

Achieve Twin Cities is honored to receive a $15,000 grant from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) to address the 16% drop in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications in Minnesota this year, which were caused by glitches and delays in the roll-out of the new FAFSA form. Over $2.5 billion in postsecondary financial aid is awarded in Minnesota every year, but accessing this support requires completion of the FAFSA or Minnesota Dream Act application.

In a public press conference announcing the grants, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan joined the higher education community to urge students to complete the FAFSA. "A student's financial aid package is often the determining factor in whether they enroll,” Lieutenant Governor Flanagan said. “In Minnesota, we have made historic investments to better support our students and break down financial barriers to ensure anyone who wants to attend college has that opportunity. To all Minnesotans: the time to apply for financial aid is now.”

With this decline in completion rates, the state’s current FAFSA filing rate is 33.3 percent. Increasing FAFSA completion has been a focus for state officials in recent years. In 2021, the State of Minnesota set a goal to increase FAFSA filing by five percentage points every year, with a focus on closing gaps in filing for Black, Indigenous, and other students of color.

“This is an all hands on deck moment,” said Minnesota OHE Commissioner Dennis Olson at the press conference. “Our students and families are not alone in navigating this process. From high school counselors to college financial aid staff to college access groups like College Possible and Achieve Twin Cities, the entire higher education community is scaling up our efforts to help each student though this process.”

Achieve will be using these additional resources to strengthen our one-on-one support for students in our Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools career and college readiness centers and adding additional capacity for FAFSA support over the summer.

Learn more in this Minnesota Office of Higher Education public announcement.

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Find your career and college readiness center in Minneapolis and Saint Paul public schools for expert FAFSA and Minnesota Dream Act support.