Question of the Day (Updated): What Percentage of High School Seniors have filed their FAFSA to access College Aid? (as of 11/27/20)

Dec 09, 2020
Question of the Day, Paying for College

Answer: 24.3% as of 11/27/20


Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


  1. Have you filed your FAFSA yet? Why or why not? Do you plan to file for FAFSA this year?
  2. Why is it important to file FAFSA as soon as possible? 
  3. What are the important FAFSA deadlines to know?
  4. The FAFSA completion rate is down compared to the past two years, why do you think this is the case?


Behind the numbers (from Office of Federal Student Aid)

Does 24.3% sound low to you? It sure does to us, since we know that many states have high proportions of low-income students who will qualify for grant aid for college and who need financial help the most. After reviewing the last few years, we found that the national FAFSA completion rate for high school seniors was around 40%!


Why is this important?

  • Students are leaving billions of dollars of federal, state, and institutional aid on the table each year because we don’t ensure that they fill out the FAFSA in a timely way. This situation leads to lower college enrollment, and completion, especially for low-income students.



Use the FAFSA Tracker to see the completion rate in your state! or check out the NGPF activity RESEARCH: FAFSA Deadlines!


Want to deepen your Paying for College content knowledge, earn 10 Academy credits, and a certification badge? Register for the Paying for College NGPF Certification Course today! 


About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.