Support from USA Funds® helped more than 90,000 students file for financial aid to attend college during the 2013-2014 academic year.
USA Funds this year invested more than $1.2 million in grants and operating support to programs that help students and parents — particularly those from economically disadvantaged households or those with no previous college experience — complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The FAFSA is the application that determines a student’s eligibility for federal student aid programs, as well as for many state and college-specific student aid programs. College financial aid programs providing a total of more than $195 billion annually require the FAFSA.
USA Funds supported the following FAFSA completion programs:
College Goal Sunday
. A total of 36 states and the District of Columbia conducted College Goal Sunday events, which provided students and parents with free expert help in completing and filing the FAFSA. USA Funds serves as national administrator of the program and also provided nearly $487,000 in grants to support individual state programs. USA Funds also announced that it has selected Tiffany Reese, USA Funds senior program manager, to oversee the program. Reese previously has led several college access and success initiatives, including College Goal Sunday in Washington state, KnowHow2GO Washington and I'm Going to College.
. This initiative, administered by the Michigan nonprofit organization, EduGuide, provides support to high school staff and students to increase FAFSA completion rates and scholarships awarded to students, and to build a college-going culture within their schools. USA Funds provided funding to implement the program in 91 high schools in 22 states and the Federated States of Micronesia.
. USA Funds is among the sponsors of this program, which uses celebrities, social and online media, games and a friendly competition among schools to improve high school attendance and graduation rates, and enhance higher education opportunities for students, including FAFSA completion. More than 300 high schools nationwide participate in the initiative.
Access for All. USA Funds provided financial support to deliver free, professional FAFSA completion assistance, as well as a college cost and planning report to 10,000 students. The aim of the initiative is to improve college selection decision-making by students and their parents.
. This website offers students and parents answers to common questions about the FAFSA, links to FAFSA assistance resources and general information and advice about financial aid for higher education. A blog by financial aid experts provides timely advice for families seeking the best options for paying college costs.
“Filing the FAFSA is a critical step for most families in paying for college,” said Robert C. Ballard, USA Funds senior vice president, Access and Outreach. “Yet each year an estimated 1.7 million students fail to submit the FAFSA because they incorrectly believe they are ineligible for financial aid. We support these FAFSA completion initiatives with the aim of ensuring students can pursue higher education regardless of their family’s financial standing.”