The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has announced the launch of PA FAFSA Go!, a new initiative aimed at encouraging students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required for students wishing to apply for federal student aid, including grants, work-study, and loans.
PA FAFSA Go! will provide students with information and resources on the FAFSA process, including how to fill out the form and where to get help if needed. The initiative will also feature a series of events and workshops across the state where students can get one-on-one assistance with completing their FAFSAs.
The campaign is a cross-collaborative effort that brings together professionals from multiple organizations who are committed to supporting students through the FAFSA process. Dr. Tanya I. Garcia, PDE’s Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Postsecondary and Higher Education, noted that over recent years FAFSA completion rates have been down and millions of dollars in aid have been left unclaimed by eligible Pennsylvania students.
The goal of the PA FAFSA Go! campaign is to increase awareness of the FAFSA and provide the support necessary to ensure that all eligible students are able to complete the form and access the financial aid they need to afford college. By working together, the campaign hopes to make a significant impact in increasing FAFSA completion rates and ensuring that all Pennsylvania students have the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education.
The high school class of 2021 left behind an estimated $3.75 billion in Pell grants by not completing the FAFSA – dollars that students do not have to repay. To apply and qualify for a Pennsylvania state grant, learners must have their FAFSA on file as well.
PDE has teamed up with the Governor’s Office, along with the PA Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), the PA Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA), the PA Association of College Admission Counseling (PACAC), and the PA School Counselors Association (PSCA) to create the PA FAFSA Go! campaign – urging students to complete their 2023-24 FAFSA, which became available on October 1, without delay.
PA FAFSA Go! partners are committed to providing support for FAFSA completion events, directing students to resources at their high school or postsecondary institution, providing a toolkit of resources for schools, students, and their families and ensuring that Pennsylvania learners are not missing any of the free dollars for which they qualify. Professionals at institutions of higher education and school districts can commit to FOCUS on FAFSA at PDE’s website, which will provide resources and ensure everyone is at the table to help.
“At Slippery Rock University, we’ve taken great strides to encourage our students to complete their financial aid forms so they can maximize the value of their education and be good stewards of resources available to them,” said Alyssa Dobson, SRU director of financial aid and scholarships. “We’re honored to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as an example for them launching this initiative across the state and ensuring more students are completing their FAFSA forms in a timely fashion.”
For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, visit the website.
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