Posted Date: November 4, 2014

Author:  Gabrielle Turner, Chief Communications Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: The FAFSA® Completion Challenge

We would like to share an exciting opportunity for high school and college access professionals with whom you work. A chance for First Lady Michelle Obama to deliver remarks during a 2015 high school commencement could be the outcome.

Earlier this year, the First Lady launched her Reach Higher initiative to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by continuing their education beyond high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.  In today’s economy, a high school diploma just isn’t enough. Students have to “reach higher,” which is why the First Lady is working to rally the country around the President's “North Star” goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

With “FAFSA® Season” just around the corner, last week the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative issued its “FAFSA® Completion Challenge” urging high schools to increase Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) completion rates among their seniors.

As financial aid administrators, we urge you to encourage the high school guidance counselors and administrators whom you work most closely with to participate in this exciting challenge.

As the First Lady says in her video:

“Through FAFSA®, the Department of Education provides more than $150 billion each year in loans, grants, and work-study programs that can help you and your family pay for college. That’s why I’m calling on every high school senior in America to complete their FAFSA® form starting on January 1st.  And I want students, teachers, school counselors, and administrators to show me how your school is taking action to get more students to fill out their forms this year.  So fill out your FAFSA®, make a video, and share it online.” 

High schools that choose to participate will create and submit three- to five- minute videos that capture how they are taking action to ensure every high school senior fills out a FAFSA®.  Video submissions will be accepted from January 1, 2015 through March 16, 2015.

To learn more, visit the “FAFSA® Completion Challenge” webpage.

We hope you’ll help us spread the word about this Reach Higher challenge and will join us in our effort to help make higher education a reality for every student.

   

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