Louisiana leads nation in college students applying for financial aid

October 02, 2018 - 9:11 am
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(WWL.com) 

Louisiana has the highest FAFSA submission rates in the nation according to a new report. That means more students than ever are applying to see what financial aid they qualify for when it comes to post-secondary education.

EdTech Senior Consultant Stephanie Marcum says the 84% participation rate comes down to a new mandate for graduating high school seniors.

“The Board of Elementary and Secondary education implemented a policy that said as a condition of graduation, students must complete either a FAFSA or a TOPS application.”

And it wasn’t just in submission rate, the Bayou State led the nation in growth rate as well. Marcum says it’s a great start, but there’s still quite a few students who didn’t participate, students who may have lost out on thousands in aid.

“For the 16 percent f kids that chose either to have a parental op out waiver or a hardship waiver, that equals about 94-million dollars of potentially lost aid.”

A department of Education report says when you add up tuition, books, and cost of living, the average two and four year college student in the state will have to spend 20,863 dollars to attend.

Marcum says that’s huge because 51% of jobs available in the state require a post-secondary education to obtain. That’s why they’re working to let students and their families know that FAFSA isn’t just student loans for college, its scholarships, grants and other aid for a variety of continuing education.

“FASA can also be a two year college, or it can be various proprietary schools.”

It’s estimated by 2020 that 65% of all jobs will require some kind of post-secondary education to obtain.
 

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