Question of the Day: FAFSA Applications for financial aid have _________ by ___________% compared to last year.

Dec 06, 2020
Question of the Day, Paying for College

Hat tip to Brian Page who highlighted this trend. 

Answer: FAFSA applications have declined by 17% compared to last year. 


  • Has COVID-19 changed your plans after high school?
  • For those considering college, why is filing the FAFSA so important?
  • FAFSA applications are a good proxy for students applying to college. Do you think this decline is temporary or permanent (i.e., that fewer students will apply to colleges this year)? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (WSJ):

The Fafsa form opens a spigot of federal, state and institutional loans and grants...

With many parents out of work, high-school classes held online and a public health crisis bearing down across the country, students’ priorities and aspirations may have shifted.

Mr. DeBaun said that in the hierarchy of needs for many high-school students right now, basics like food, shelter and an internet connection to attend classes rank far above crafting a list of target colleges and figuring out how to pay for them. “Those things are luxuries for a lot of families right now,” he said.


Here's a few interactives to help nudge college-bound students to complete the FAFSA or play the award-winning game, PAYBACK, to help students navigate to and through college. 



About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.