June 14 2024

Achieve receives federal funds to help boost FAFSA completion rates this summer

FAFSA form graphic

Achieve Twin Cities has received $98,500 in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA Student Support Strategy to provide additional summer support for students in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. FAFSA completion dropped significantly this year due to challenges and delays with the new form, which will have a significant impact on postsecondary enrollment in the coming 2024-25 school year.

Administered by ECMC, the Department of Education is providing up to $50 million in immediate FAFSA completion support across the U.S., with funding prioritized for organizations currently working with schools and districts and those with deep ties with students and families that have the reach and capacity to help decrease barriers and increase FAFSA submission. Over seventy organizations across the country – including five in Minnesota – received these federal funds.

This summer, Achieve Twin Cities will utilize these additional federal resources– along with $15,000 from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education – to expand our already extensive support for FAFSA completion in 28 Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) high schools, with a particular focus on college-interested seniors.  

Achieve will hire two staff to focus specifically on FAFSA completion in July and August – in addition to the work of the Achieve school-based team – with activities including FAFSA workshops, one-on-one advising, resource materials, drop in FAFSA help sessions, and a dedicated hotline for students and families. MPS and SPPS 2024 graduates and their families can find more information about our summer FAFSA support specialists on our Achieve Twin Cities FAFSA help website.

While FAFSA rates across Minnesota and the rest of the country are significantly down this year, MPS and SPPS have smaller rates of decline compared to the national average. We believe this is due to Achieve’s deep relationships and history of providing dedicated support to our school communities and the proactive training on the FAFSA roll-out provided to our staff. We are excited to continue working with our partners to support MPS and SPPS graduates in completing their FAFSAs this summer.

Learn more

Achieve Twin Cities is offering summer FAFSA support for MPS and SPPS graduates 

Achieve receives state Office of Higher Education grant to strengthen FAFSA completion

Star Tribune 
Minnesota offers help to students struggling with FAFSA forms (startribune.com)

Star Tribune editorial
In need of student aid? Don't give up now. (startribune.com)

Minnesota Public Radio 
College leaders beg Minnesotans to submit FAFSA to get financial aid for school | MPR News

Buggy FAFSA website causes issues for MN students seeking financial aid (fox9.com)

FAFSA fallout resolved but immigrant families still face delays - KSTP.com 5 Eyewitness News

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