Help More Students Complete the FAFSA with #FormYourFuture

Oct 13, 2017

Help More Students Complete the FAFSA with #FormYourFuture

The Common Application works to champion our partner organizations that share our commitment to expanding access, equity, and integrity in the college admission process. We invited NCAN to share the latest on the #FormYourFuture campaign. This guest blog post was written by Kim Szarmach, NCAN Communications Intern.

Form Your Future helps high school seniors get money for college.

The National College Access Network’s Form Your Future campaign uses targeted social media to encourage students to apply for financial aid, and also offers a host of free FAFSA completion resources for college counselors and access and success professionals.

In the first year of the campaign, humorous GIFS and celebrity videos caught the attention of more than 150,000 students who clicked through to the online FAFSA. The social media content reminds students the chances of certain things happening to them are very slim — becoming homecoming queen, finding a four-leaf clover, etc. — but receiving aid is practically a guarantee. Follow #FormYourFuture on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Form Your Future pairs this direct student outreach with guidance for those helping them apply for aid.

Anyone who would like to participate may download the Social Media Toolkit with images, videos, and corresponding text that tell all students they have an 85% chance of receiving aid – and low-income students have a 92% chance of getting free grants.

A downloadable FAFSA Guide contains information on every step of the process: how to apply, tips for undocumented students, post-filing steps (in English and Spanish), and more. And the Event Toolkit has templates, checklists, presentations, and other resources to ensure FAFSA-focused gatherings are smooth and successful.

Combined with the collective work of the college access and success community, Form Your Future helped to reverse a four-year decline in FAFSA completions. The number of high school seniors who filed FAFSA increased by 9 percent this year, and the overall completion rate rose by 6 percent.

Unfortunately, still only 61% of the high school class of 2017 filed the form. With a stunning $24 billion in federal aid left unclaimed every year, there's still much to be done to let high school students know this money is available and help them access it. NCAN research shows many low-income students fail to file the FAFSA because they don’t know what aid is or how to get it.

The Form Your Future website has been updated for the 2018-2019 FAFSA cycle; please join NCAN and our member The Common Application in this movement to get students the aid that will help them get to and through college.