July 26 2023

Achieve team prepares to lead "Better FAFSA" roll-out in Minnesota

Achieve staff members Amanda and Zoey at national conference

Big changes are happening with the FAFSA! This summer, our career and college readiness program strategy managers Amanda Justen and Zoey Haines were personally invited to join over 500 college access professionals from all 50 states to prepare for this big shift at the national “Better FAFSA” Train the Trainer Summit, which was organized by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) and the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office of the U.S. Department of Education. FAFSA is short for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is required to determine eligibility for student financial aid.

This was the first big public roll-out of the Better FAFSA, and staff from FSA provided an exclusive first look at the updated form and addressed the drivers behind recent changes. They also joined NCAN staff to share toolkits and resources to help college access professionals support students and families in completing the new FAFSA, which will launch in December.

In addition to learning about these new resources and strategies, Amanda and Zoey also had the great opportunity to connect with professionals from across the country to talk through various student scenarios and learn about best practices for training college access professionals, school staff and others to ensure a smooth transition into the new FAFSA.

Now back at home, they are utilizing their new insights and skills to collaborate with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education in creating a new working group to roll out the Better FAFSA state-wide and develop resources for students, families and college access professionals.

Amanda and Zoey will also be leading expert training for our Achieve career and college readiness coordinators in 28 Minneapolis and Saint Paul public high schools as well as counselors in our partner districts and others across the state. We are thankful for our colleagues' expertise, skill and leadership for the new FAFSA roll-out in Minnesota! 

Learn more about the new FAFSA and what happened at the recent NCAN and FSA conference.