92 New School Districts Selected for Project to Help More Students Complete the FAFSA and Access Higher Education

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92 New School Districts Selected for Project to Help More Students Complete the FAFSA and Access Higher Education

May 30, 2012

The U.S. Department of Education today announced that 92 additional school districts will now have access to individualized data to help their students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing the FAFSA—which is used to determine eligibility for federal aid and is the gateway to other student aid—is a critical factor in helping students access higher education.

Selected school districts, which span 30 states, will be able to track whether high school seniors have completed the FAFSA starting in the 2012-13 school year. This information will help school college guidance counselors focus efforts and resources on students who have not yet completed the process. These 92 new sites join 18 other districts that received data for the 2011-12 school year as part of the FAFSA Completion Project's initial pilot. Since the project launched, the Department has received requests from districts and high schools to expand the pilot.

"If students don't think they can pay for college, they won't apply for college. Giving more young people access to the tools they need to apply for federal student aid is a key part of our strategy to make America number one in the world for college graduates by 2020." said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Our hope is that this will help dramatically boost the number of high schoolers going on to college. That's good for the economy, good for the kids, and good for the country."

Sites announced today were randomly selected and consist of 80 school districts with multiple high schools, and 12 districts with a single high school. To evaluate the effectiveness of local level counseling, districts with multiple high schools will have a staggered roll out. The districts will establish an experimental group and a control group by giving half of participating schools access to the FAFSA data in year one of the project, then adding the remaining half of schools the following year. The Department's Institute of Education Statistics will publish a report that summarizes the findings of the 80 multi-high school districts.

Simplifying the FAFSA to make it shorter and more user-friendly has been a key part of the Administration's efforts to increase access to college. The FAFSA determines whether a student qualifies for Pell grants as well as other federal grants, loans and work-study opportunities and helps families figure out how to afford higher education.

The Administration launched a tool earlier this year that gives all schools access to school-wide statistics on FAFSA submissions. This regularly updated data allows school counselors to compare FAFSA submissions with the number of seniors in the school in order to better target their efforts to assist students and families.

The following districts have been selected to participate in the project for the 2012-13 school year: (*denotes single high school district)

District City State
Pulaski County Special School District Little Rock AR
Mesa Public Schools Mesa AZ
El Monte Union High School District El Monte CA
Elk Grove Unified School District Elk Grove CA
Long Beach Unified School District Lakewood CA
Shasta Union High School District Redding CA
Sequoia Union High School District Redwood City CA
Alvord Unified School District Riverside CA
Jurupa Unified School District Riverside CA
Sacramento City Unified School District Sacramento CA
San Francisco Unified School District San Francisco CA
Stockton Unified School District Stockton CA
Whittier Union High School District Whittier CA
Hartford Public Schools Hartford CT
Appoquinimink School District Odessa DE
Fulton County Schools Atlanta GA
Davenport Community School District Davenport IA
Iowa City Community School District Iowa City IA
Sioux City Community Schools Sioux City IA
Jerome Joint School District 261 Jerome ID
Indianapolis Public Schools Indianapolis IN
Shelbyville Central Schools* Shelbyville IN
Jefferson County Public Schools Louisville KY
Bossier Parish Benton LA
St. Mary's Parish School System Centerville LA
Springfield Public Schools Springfield MA
Baltimore County Public Schools Baltimore MD
Washington County Public Schools Hagerstown MD
Prince George's County Public Schools Upper Marlboro MD
Bay-Arenac ISD Bay City MI
Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency Fremont MI
Ottawa Area Intermediate School District Holland MI
Ionia County Intermediate School District Ionia MI
Lansing School District Lansing MI
Van Buren Intermediate School District Lawrence MI
Montcalm Area Intermediate School District Stanton MI
Utica Community Schools Sterling Heights MI
Austin Public School District* Austin MN
Deer River Independent School District 318* Deer River MN
Osseo Area Schools, Independent School District 279 Osseo MN
Rockford Area Schools* Rockford MN
Warren-Alvarado-Solo School District 2176* Warren MN
Ferguson-Florissant School District Florissant MO
Hope Academy Charter School* Kansas City MO
Pattonville School District* Maryland Heights MO
Mehlville School District Mehlville MO
Rock Port School District* Rock Port MO
Francis Howell School District St. Charles MO
St. Joseph School District St. Joseph MO
Wake County Schools Cary NC
Mainland Regional* Linwood NJ
Westwood Regional School* Washington Township NJ
Carson City School District Carson City NV
Washoe County School District Reno NV
Buffalo Public School District Buffalo NY
Syracuse City School District Syracuse NY
Cleveland Metropolitan School District Cleveland OH
Columbus City Schools Columbus OH
Pittsburgh Public Schools Pittsburgh PA
Providence Public Schools Providence RI
Spartanburg District One Campobello SC
Lexington School District One Lexington SC
Bradley County Schools Cleveland TN
Carter County School System Elizabethton TN
Greene County Schools Greeneville TN
Memphis City Schools Memphis TN
Giles County School System Pulaski TN
Franklin County School District Winchester TN
Amarillo Independent School District Amarillo TX
Bastrop ISD Bastrop TX
Brownsville Independent School District Brownsville TX
Fort Worth ISD Fort Worth TX
Cypress Fairbanks ISD Houston TX
Galena Park ISD Houston TX
Spring Branch ISD Houston TX
Pasadena Independent School District Pasadena TX
Richardson Independent School District Richardson TX
Rockwall Independent School District Rockwall TX
Northside Independent School District San Antonio TX
Southwest Independent School District San Antonio TX
Cache County School District Hyrum UT
Granite School District Salt Lake City UT
Salt Lake City School District Salt Lake City UT
Culpeper County Public Schools Culpeper VA
Augusta County Public Schools Fishersville VA
Lynchburg City School Division Lynchburg VA
Curlew School District* Curlew WA
Everett Public School District Everett WA
Sedro-Woolley School District Sedro-Woolley WA
Spokane Public Schools Spokane WA
Greendale School District* Greendale WI
Sheboygan Area School District Sheboygan WI
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Organization City State
Fresno Unified School District Fresno CA
Riverside Unified School District Riverside CA
Denver Public Schools Denver CO
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Miami FL
Muscogee County School District Columbus GA
Boston Public Schools Boston MA
Minneapolis Public Schools Minneapolis MN
Gateway Institute of Technology St. Louis MO
Alamance-Burlington School System Burlington NC
Albuquerque Public Schools Albuquerque NM
New York City Department of Education New York City NY
School District of Philadelphia Philadelphia PA
Austin ISD Austin TX
Goose Creek CISD Baytown TX
Dallas ISD Dallas TX
Houston Independent School District Houston TX
San Antonio ISD San Antonio TX
Bellingham Public Schools Bellingham WA