ED Focuses on 2024-25 FAFSA Completion Rates With New $50 Million Program

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Managing Editor

The Department of Education (ED) on Monday announced the launch of a program that would allocate up to $50 million to stakeholders working to boost 2024-25 FAFSA completion rates.

The focus of the next phase of the “FAFSA Support Strategy,” per the department, is to “grow capacity” that would enable school districts, state agencies, nonprofits, and other educational-based organizations to expand their availability and outreach to support students and families in completing the revamped form.

The new program from ED comes amid concerning FAFSA completion trends. According to the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), FAFSA completions for the class of 2024 have not caught up with previous enrollment cycles and while the gap in recent weeks has been closing, completion rates are still down 24.3% compared to the previous academic year. Financial aid administrators have expressed significant concerns about how the glitches and shifting timelines associated with the 2024-25 FAFSA rollout could impact students.

ED noted that the funds could be used to increase program availability through evenings, weekends, and the summer. Additionally, the funds could be used to facilitate the logistics associated with FAFSA submission clinics, such as transportation costs, or to support communication campaigns that help students complete their FAFSA forms.

“The funding will be prioritized for organizations currently working with schools and districts, and those that have deep ties with students and families which have the reach and capacity to help decrease barriers and increase FAFSA submissions,” ED wrote.

According to the department, Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) from more than 8.95 million applications have now been transmitted to schools, states, and scholarship organizations.

ED also noted that it has made “significant progress” in addressing known issues with the 2024-25 FAFSA form, and reminded stakeholders that there is now a new temporary process to allow applicants and contributors without a Social Security number (SSN) to complete the form.

“We are determined to close the FAFSA completion gap,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten. “The funding we’re announcing today will support states, districts, and community-based groups build capacity and leverage their power to ensure that every student who needs help paying for college turns in their FAFSA form.” 


Publication Date: 5/7/2024

Jose G | 5/8/2024 1:4:00 PM

Has anyone received a link to apply for the funding " The federal funding will be administered by the Educational Credit Management Corporation and will engage experienced nonprofits like the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Partnership for Education Advancement." I do not see it on their websites.

Kimberly L | 5/7/2024 3:33:45 PM

I agree with Elizabeth.

Mark B | 5/7/2024 2:28:09 PM

Does a school get a share of this funding if, perpetually, year after year, this has been a focus without this bribery incentive? Asking for a friend.

Mary O | 5/7/2024 1:34:40 PM

Or, perhaps they want to make themselves look better after a disastrous rollout? It is an election year after all.

Elizabeth G | 5/7/2024 11:35:51 AM

Why not use this money to hire programmers / coders who can find and fix the bugs in the FAFSA? I feel like that would be a better use of the funds to promote FAFSA completion.

David V | 5/7/2024 10:10:44 AM

It's interesting that ED is saying that the funds COULD be used in a manner of the school's choosing. I am just afraid that throwing large amounts of money will not solve many issues for schools, especially since FA offices are continuing to be short-staffed.

Daniel L | 5/7/2024 9:53:39 AM

So who will end up getting this money? Will the private agencies provide their services pro-bono? Or will they double dip? Are there metrics for success or is ED just throwing money at a problem to make themselves feel better after a dismal rollout?

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.

Related Content

Fundamentals of Student Financial Aid - July 2025


Fundamentals of Student Financial Aid - January 2025


View Desktop Version