Preliminary FAFSA Data Shows Encouraging Completion Trends

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Managing Editor

It’s early in the process, but with the 2023-24 FAFSA cycle officially underway, completion data is starting to roll in — with some potentially positive signs for higher education enrollment.

In the latest dataset for this cycle, compiled by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), FAFSA completions for the first week of the application period jumped 25.4% from last year, with 4.3% of current high school seniors submitting their applications.

While the data only accounts for the first week of the cycle, through October 7, the latest report indicates positive momentum for completion rates. NCAN expressed cautious optimism that the latest data could be a sign of a potential rebound to build upon the gains seen during the previous cycle, and demonstrate more positive indicators for higher education than were collected during the early stages of the pandemic.

NCAN’s FAFSA tracker, now in its sixth year of operation, provides the public with weekly updated data containing information about FAFSA completions at the national, state, city, district, and school levels.

“It’s very important to remember: it’s still only the first week of the cycle,” says Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives. “But through that first week, FAFSA completions nationally are up 25.4%, which will encourage financial aid advocates nationwide.”

The most up-to-date data on FAFSA completions will be posted on NCAN’s FAFSA Tracker page.


Publication Date: 10/17/2022

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