Whitmer announces statewide FAFSA Challenge

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LANSING — Governor Gretchen Whitmer is challenging every high school in the state to increase their FAFSA completion rate among Class of 2020 graduates.

In 2019, Michigan’s FAFSA completion rate was 55.9%, down 0.7% from the previous year.

Michigan College Access Network, an organization that works to increase college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan among low-income students, has a goal of achieving a statewide FAFSA completion rate of 75% in 2020.

An estimated 25,000 Michigan students eligible for Pell grants did not file the FAFSA last year, which left nearly $100 million in Pell grant funding unspent.

“Every student deserves a path to a quality, affordable postsecondary education, and filling out FAFSA forms can make an enormous difference for families across the state,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I just finished helping my daughter fill out her FAFSA application while she applied to colleges. It’s simple and can help students everywhere get on a path to a quality postsecondary education. I’m excited to partner with MCAN as they work to spread the word about FAFSA and hope high schools everywhere will accept the challenge and aim for a 75% rate.”

About 500 schools across Michigan will participate in the Governor’s FAFSA Challenge and winners of the challenge will receive social media recognition and framed tributes from the executive office.

At the end of the campaign, three overall winning high schools will have an opportunity to host Gov. Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and other Michigan celebrities as their commencement or Decision Day speaker. Ten geographic high school winners will have the opportunity for a group of high school seniors to meet the governor and tour the Capitol.

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