AZ FAF$A Challenge
October 2019 Newsletter
Take The FAF$A Challenge
FAFSA Completion Dashboard
Our October 2019 Mini-FAFSA Challenge winners are....
Small Senior Enrollment School Category
Medium Senior Enrollment School Category
Large Senior Enrollment School Category
October 2019 Most Innovative Player
Last year, Desert Edge High School was consistency in the top 5 schools leading the way in FAFSA completion.This year we are thrilled to award them as the October 2019 Most Innovative player and share their best practices!
FAFSA Best Practices
This fun YouTube Video about FAFSA helps get the students attention before the presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw9B_QRWcjg#
District FAFSA Night: Desert Edge High School participates in their district-wide FAFSA event. The school promotes the event to students and their families as part of a district collaborative effort. Agua Fria High School District also coordinates with its college access partners to ensure that students and their families have assistance with the FAFSA.
FAFSA Assignment: Government teachers assign all of their senior classes to complete the FAFSA as an assignment. Students must complete the FAFSA and show their Government teacher their FAFSA confirmation page OR if a student is unable to complete the FAFSA then they complete an essay on the purpose of the FAFSA. As an incentive, the Government class with the highest number of FAFSA assignments completed wins a pizza party to celebrate!
Tracking Progress: The Career Center Specialist, Jim Craven, runs a FAFSA Finish Line report each week to distribute to the Government teachers so that they can track who has completed the assignment or reach out to the students who have an incomplete application on file. He also follows up weekly with individual students who have not completed the assignment to be sure they don't have any questions about FAFSA completion.
Administrative Support : A large part of their success comes from the support of their school administration encouraging their FAFSA efforts. Desert Edge works as a team with their administration, teachers, counselors, and career specialist to ensure that FAFSA completion is a team effort and that all of their students are college and career ready when they graduate.
Desert Edge High School has also provided some FAFSA Finish Line Helpful Tips
Jim Cravens FAFSA Finish Line Data Tips
Wrong Academic Year: (2019-20 instead of 2020-21). Many students received congratulatory emails from FAFSA not realizing it was for the incorrect year. These students can be identified by pulling the FAFSA Finish Line report for the prior year (2019-2020 FAFSA). If they show up on that list, they must complete it again for the correct year (2020-2021 FAFSA).
Partial Matches: The FAFSA Finish Line data retrieval searches for Last Name, First Name, DOB, and Zip Code. If only three of these match, it is a Partial Match and not counted as complete. The most common error is the spelling of the last name, particularly those with two last names and the use of hyphens (or not). The second most common partial match is a different zip code used for FAFSA than what appears in the school data base. I went to each of these "Partial Match" students and asked them to help me determine the non-matching item. Once identified, change the data on the spreadsheet uploaded to FAFSA Finish Line and check to see if it now matches. You may have to ask the student to pull up their FAFSA account to see what doesn't match.
Missing signatures: Often the result of parents who have not signed electronically. In some cases they may be required to send in a hard copy of the signature page. This takes some additional time to process. I notify the students of the issue and remind them of the importance of this step.
Nominate your School for the November - Most Innovative Player!
The award recognizes high schools and community organizations each month throughout the school year for their innovative efforts and work towards FAFSA completion.
Anyone can submit a nomination, so we encourage counselors, teachers, students, parents and the community to nominate their high school or community organization that they feel deserves the award!
- November – Click HERE to submit a Nomination