Future Ready Spotlight (November): Albia, Centerville, North Mahaska, Wapello, and Winfield-Mt. Union

Jessica Vance, School Improvement Consultant

Shout-out to Albia, Centerville, North Mahaska, Wapello, and Winfield-Mt. Union for helping their seniors be Future Ready! These five Great Prairie AEA school districts were able to significantly increase the percentage of seniors who completed the FAFSA, from the previous year. They also each outperformed the state average of 53.8% FAFSA completion.

https://fafsa.iowa.gov/

Encouraging and educating families about the benefits of FAFSA is vital to a high completion rate.

Luann Eakins, Centerville High School

Why is FAFSA completion so important? According to the FAFSA Completion Initiative, 90% of students who complete the FAFSA go on to enroll somewhere they can earn a postsecondary credential. Great Prairie shares weekly updates about FAFSA completion with school counselors, giving them the opportunity to “check-in” and engage in meaningful conversations with students – ensuring all students have a postsecondary goal and plan.

When asked about the tremendous increase in FAFSA completion at her school, Luann Eakins, the professional school counselor for Centerville High School stated, “Counselors and schools, in general, have a tremendous responsibility in educating students and parents about FAFSA. Encouraging and educating families about the benefits of FAFSA is vital to a high completion rate. It’s also important that families feel as if the school is a partner in the process. Having dedicated FAFSA nights and experts help makes the process smooth and further builds the vital relationships we need to help our students be successful in their post-secondary education.”

October brought the opening of a new FAFSA season and schools can soon look forward to receiving FAFSA completion data through our partnership with AEA PREP and Iowa College Aid.  If you want additional support with your local FAFSA completion initiative, please contact jessica.vance@gpaea.org.

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