News: Financial Aid

College Board Offers $1,000 Scholarships for FAFSA Completion, a Chatbot for Support

Thursday, October 8, 2020  
Posted by: Jamese Carrell, Member Services Associate
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The “Complete the FAFSA” step of the College Board Opportunity Scholarships (CBOS) program is designed to reward high school seniors for applying for financial aid. By completing this critical step, students give themselves access to aid to pay for college and a chance to win $1,000.

Students can take these steps to get involved:

  1. If you haven’t already, join the CBOS program.
  2. Go to My Action Plan and select the complete scholarship card.
  3. If you have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a state aid form, or are ineligible to complete both the FAFSA and a state aid form, select the “Confirm your qualification” button in the FAFSA scholarship card.

Here’s a short video clip to share with students about this step!

A larger number of “Complete the FAFSA” scholarships will be awarded in the remaining months of 2020, presumably as a way to encourage students to complete the form sooner rather than later:

  • 200 “Complete the FAFSA” scholarships will be awarded at the end of October, November, and December.
  • 100 scholarships will be awarded at the end of January and February.

Some state programs award financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis, so students can lose out on potential aid dollars if they complete the FAFSA later in the application cycle.

Seniors do not have to complete other steps in the CBOS program to qualify for the $1,000 “Complete the FAFSA” scholarship.

The CBOS program guides high school students through six steps of the college planning process. Completing each step earns students a chance to win scholarships of $500 to $2,000 through monthly drawings; doing all six steps also earns them a chance at a $40,000 scholarship. Notably for the NCAN community, College Board has designated at least half of all the scholarships for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year.

Free FAFSA Assistance Chatbot

Does your student need additional FAFSA help? Well, meet Wyatt. Wyatt is a personal FAFSA assistance chatbot that became available on Oct. 1. Students can sign up here to begin to access Wyatt for free. Wyatt is always available to help and is powered by AI.

According to College Board, Wyatt will help address barriers to FAFSA completion, reply with timely and relevant information developed by experts, and send biweekly nudges about FAFSA completion and the “Complete the FAFSA” CBOS scholarship.

NCAN members can access a Sept. 10 webinar recording to learn more about this step, CBOS, and Wyatt. Note: You must log in to the webinar archives using your NCAN member account.

If you have additional questions about the “Complete the FAFSA” scholarship, check out these FAQs.

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