New Data Snapshot “Timing Is Everything: FAFSA Filing Trends” Reveals Students Potentially Missing Out on Aid

Analysis finds students with different backgrounds file at different times, and that older students and lower-income students file later than younger and higher-income students, impacting aid received.

PHOENIX, AZ, MARCH 20, 2019—CampusLogic, higher education’s leading student financial success platform, released a data snapshot based on the submission of approximately 2.4 million Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)® filings during the 2018-19 aid year. The snapshot reveals that students with different backgrounds file the FAFSA at different times in the year. It also finds that older students and lower-income students file later than younger and higher-income students, in some cases negatively impacting aid potential.

Paying for college has been shown to be a major barrier to both enrollment and program completion—especially for first generation and minority students. Completing the FAFSA is key to helping students access the valuable grant and scholarship resources that help make higher education affordable for millions of students every year. When students file the FAFSA can be just as important as if they do, particularly where non-federal grant aid is concerned. Many state grant programs and institutional scholarships utilize FAFSA data, but these programs can also have fixed application deadlines or dispense funds on a first-come, first-served basis until resources have been depleted.

“It’s not enough to just get people to file the FAFSA. When they do shows that our aid system doesn’t help all low-income people equally,” said Carlo Salerno, Vice President of Research at CampusLogic. “We are excited how data like this is able to raise the visibility around aspects of federal, state, and institutional financial aid policy that often do not get much attention even though they bear directly on issues around access, borrowing, and completion.”

“If schools are committed to student financial success, they should be doing all they can to maximize state aid going to those who need it the most,” said Gregg Scoresby, CEO of CampusLogic. “Later filing for some students means schools need to do as much as possible to help process aid as quickly and efficiently as possible so these students don’t lose out any more than they are.”

The Timing is Everything: FAFSA Filing Trends data snapshot is now available for download. A webinar discussing the implications of FAFSA filing dates on accessibility, borrowing, and completion, along with a deeper dive into the unique data set, is being hosted by Salerno on April 25, 2019.

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