News: Financial Aid

Through Mid-February, Tennessee and Louisiana Top FAFSA Tracker Rankings

Monday, February 24, 2020  
Posted by: Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation
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Through Feb. 14, more than 1.6 million high school seniors across the U.S. had completed a FAFSA. This is just 0.4% more than had completed through the same date in the last cycle, and NCAN estimates it represents 43.7% of the class of 2020. These data and more come from the #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker.

The big story over the past month has been Tennessee, which has taken a commanding lead at the top of the percent of seniors completing leaderboard, topping second place Washington, D.C., by more than 14 percentage points.

Through Jan. 3 of this year, NCAN estimates about 50% of Tennessee seniors had completed a FAFSA. Just a little over a month later, through Feb. 14, that figure had skyrocketed to 73.2%. The Tennessee Promise deadline being Feb. 7 surely had something to do with this surge.

Joining Tennessee and Washington, D.C., in the top five of the percent-of-seniors-completing ranking are Connecticut (55.1%), Massachusetts (54.9%), and Illinois (54.8%). This is the first time Connecticut has broken into the top five in the three cycles NCAN has operated the FAFSA Tracker.

By year-over-year change in completions, Louisiana and California top the list (+4.1%), followed by Kansas (+3.8%), and then Arizona and Nevada (+3.3%). Louisiana has topped the percent of seniors completing ranking for two consecutive cycles, likely in large part due to its policy of mandating FAFSA completion for high school graduation.

The #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker is updated weekly with data from Federal Student Aid. Its interactive dashboards consider FAFSA completions at the national, state, city, district, and school levels.