Tennessee students encouraged to complete FAFSA

(Courtesy: WATE)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Gov. Bill Haslam proclaimed Thursday as “TN FAFSA Frenzy Day.” The day is to encourage high school seniors and college students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by the Jan. 17 deadline.

The FAFSA allows students to be eligible for financial aid including scholarship programs like the HOPE Lottery Scholarship and Tennessee Promise. Tennessee Promise is a scholarship and mentoring program for high school graduates and allows two years of free tuition at community or technical college in the state.

“Across Tennessee, 60,000 high school seniors submitted a Tennessee Promise application this fall and made a commitment to higher education. Submitting the FAFSA is the next step,” Haslam said. “This Thursday, January 12, is our first TN FAFSA Frenzy Day, and you’ll see colleges, nonprofits and state government agencies partnering with high schools statewide to ensure that as many students as possible get their FAFSA submitted. For the past two years our state has led the nation in FAFSA filings, one of the best indicators of a growing college-going culture in Tennessee. We want to continue that momentum this year and encourage students to apply by January 17.”

There were be representatives from the state, higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations at schools to provide help to families completing the FAFSA.

“TN FAFSA Frenzy Day is a way for high schools, colleges, state agencies and local communities to better support our college bound students,” THEC and TSAC Executive Director Mike Krause said. “When students file the FAFSA they are completing an important milestone on the path to college and helping Tennessee to meet the critical goals set through the Drive to 55.”

The state led the nation with a FAFSA filing rate of 70.3 percent for high school students completing the application in 2016. There was an increase of first-time college enrollment with the Tennessee Promise scholarship during the 2015-2016 school year. Around 16,291 students used the scholarship. There was a 10 percent increase for the state with first-time freshman enrollment, including 25 percent increase at community colleges and 20 percent increase at Tennessee’s Colleges of Applied Technology.

For more information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, visit the website.