Did you see this on the rates declining on the completion of the FAFSA?

What do you think?

How FAFSA completion has been impacted by Covid-19...and it's not good. I have always said this should be a lifeskill and a requirement to graduate. You never know how being empowered with financial information might influence the decision about further education and training...


Graph showing the decline in FAFSA completions.

According to a National College Attainment Network analysis of FAFSA data through August 2020, https://lnkd.in/eYrxg-h 100,000 fewer high school seniors completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to attend college this year. #highereducation #workforcedevelopment #equityineducation


Hi Michelle,

Thanks for sharing this information. Understanding all of the elements of affording higher education. Do you have any insight to the cause of the decrease of FASFA applications? Is there any data on adult learners and FASFA? And to our educators, how are you incorporating this information in your classroom?

Kathy Tracey


Based on my information from adult students and personal connections in the community, people who do not like online learning much are waiting to begin their pursuit of a college degree until they can attend in person again.  That could cause a 4% drop.  Personally, I think only a 4% decrease is pretty good news.

I read about this, too, and wondered about the causes.  I think some may be that students are putting off post-secondary education as institutions pivot to building their online learning programs.  Then I read part of a 2018 report from the Center on Education and the Workforce, titled, Balancing Work and Learning IMPLICATIONS FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS.

The report states that, "Community college students in particular are less likely to receive aid than students at public or nonprofit four-year colleges, and the grants they receive are small; as a result, low-income community college students often struggle to cover basic expenses, including food, rent, gas, and books." (24)

Do you think the economic impacts of COVID-19, which have hit low-income learners especially hard, is another likely reason why they aren't applying for the FAFSA?  I also wonder how much support programs provide learners with the FAFSA application, and what strategies are being used to help students complete the application when in-person programming isn't happening? 

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator