Although the annual FAFSA application period only began roughly two weeks ago, initial completion data is showing a strong negative trend at the outset of the process, indicating that enrollment trends could continue to worsen.
According to the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) FAFSA completion data collected through October 8 shows that completions are down 29% compared to this time last year, and roughly 44% compared to 2019.
It is still too early in the process to garner a strong indication of how the process will unfold in the end, but the first and second week’s completion rates show an initial decline of roughly 66,000 fewer submitted applications.
The #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker for the 2022-23 cycle is live now & updated through 10/8 w/ completions for the HS c/o of 2022.— Bill DeBaun (@BillDeBaun) October 18, 2021
FAFSA completions are down 29% so far compared to last year & ~44% compared to 2019.https://t.co/UlBkEglEMV pic.twitter.com/wYav2FoS4j
NCAN plans to continually update this data weekly, pending FAFSA completion data from Federal Student Aid (FSA), typically released on Fridays.
FAFSA completion data has shown a continued decline in the past two enrollment cycles, further exacerbating a worrying trend for higher education programs.
“Our fingers are crossed that the class of 2022 will break the downward trend in FAFSA completion declines,” said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s director of data and evaluation. “We will be monitoring this cycle closely to provide updates and insights periodically.”
Publication Date: 10/19/2021