Every Young Adult is College/Career Ready
According to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, “Our financial aid system is confusing, complex, inefficient, duplicative, and frequently does not direct aid to students who truly need it.”
Too often, parents and students are unaware about what financial aid is available, what they are eligible for, and when and how to apply. The American Council on Education estimates that approximately one in five low-income students who are enrolled in college and would likely be eligible for Pell Grants never filed a FAFSA (American Council on Education, “Missed Opportunities: Students Who Do Not Apply for Financial Aid,” 2004).
FAFSA submission is thought to be one of the major factors in whether qualified low-income students pursue a post-secondary education. Research shows that students who are accepted into a four-year college and have completed a FAFSA are almost 50 percent more likely to enroll than students who do not complete a FAFSA. One study found that 84 percent of students who completed a FAFSA by the end of high school went on to attend a four-year college in the fall, compared to only 55 percent of students who did not file a FAFSA (De La Rosa, 2006).
Indicators of Student Success
In Adams County, more than 80 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 believe it’s important to go to college (2011/12 Adams County Student Survey). However, only 55 percent of the Adams County class of 2012 actually enrolled in postsecondary education within one year.
Adams County FAFSA completion rates, versus Colorado average:
The proportion of seniors in 2012 who submitted a FAFSA application was 5.3 percent lower than the state average. Only 44.3 percent completed the application (Graph 24).
Why is FAFSA Important?
In Adams County, all schools with FAFSA completion rates higher than 50 percent saw more than half of their 2012 graduates enroll in college. On the other hand, all schools with FAFSA completion rates below 50 percent had fewer than half of their seniors go on to college (Graph 25).
Please note, all graphs are also available for viewing in our annual Partnership Report