Arizona FAF$A Challenge

April 2019

50% FAFSA Completion Goal Progress

According to The National College Access Network (NCAN), Arizona is currently one of 17 states reporting an increase in FAFSA completion year-over-year, and is currently ranked 10th in the nation within this category. With a 2.3% increase in FAFSA completions compared to last year, the state has achieved a current FAFSA completion rate of 40% bringing us one step closer to the state's 50% goal.


As the school year is coming to a close we are encouraging all schools to continue their FAFSA completion efforts in one last push before graduation. In order to reach the 50% goal an estimated 7,600 more completed FAFSA are needed. Last year, Arizona students left $64 Milion dollars of Free Pell Grant money on the table because they did not complete a FAFSA. As a state, we can close this gap by helping students through the FAFSA process so they can pursue their post-secondary goals.


Arizona FAFSA Highlights

(all data as of 4/5/2019)



  • Completed FAFSA's: 30,309
  • Current FAFSA Completion Rate: 40%
  • Estimated Pell Grant Dollars Awarded to qualifying AZ seniors: $104 Million
  • Number of completed FAFSA's needed to reach 50% goal: 7,600
  • Up 2.3% compared to last year

Arizona FAF$A Challenge Winners!

In partnership with The Governor’s Office of Education and Achieve60AZ, The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education is proud to present the winners of the inaugural 2018-2019 Arizona FAF$A Challenge. The challenge is a state-wide initiative to increase FAFSA completions among Arizona high school seniors.


Over 400 Arizona high schools participated in the challenge from October 1, 2018 through the end of March 2019. Winners will receive a custom trophy for their school and a Dell Laptop to award to a graduating senior of their choice who has completed the FAFSA.

Highest FAFSA Completion Rate - MVP

Small School Size Category:

Basis Flagstaff - Basis Schools, Inc. - Coconino County - 94.87%


Medium School Size Category:

University High School - Tucson Unified School District - Pima County - 89.43%


Large School Size Category:

Sunnyside High School - Sunnyside Unified School District - Pima County - 57.32%

Most Improved FAFSA Completion Rate Year-Over-Year through the end of March 2019


Small School Size Category:

Ashfork High School - Ashfork Joint Unified School District - Yavapai County - 36% increase


Medium School Size Category:

Tuba City High School - Tuba City Unified School District #15 - Coconino County - 20%increase


Large School Size Category:

Dobson High School - Mesa Unified School District - Maricopa County- 16% increase

Outstanding FAFSA Performers!

The following schools have made tremendous strides towards increasing their FAFSA completion rate during the 2018-2019 school year. They have made the Arizona FAF$A Challenge a suspenseful competition consistently providing outstanding FAFSA completion numbers and efforts towards the state's 50% FAFSA completion goal!



  • Franklin Police & Fire High School - Phoenix Union High School District
  • Moon Valley High School - Glendale Union High School District
  • Pinnacle High School - Paradise Valley High School District
  • Catalina Foothills High School - Catalina Foothills Unified School District
  • Red Mountain High School - Mesa Unified High School District
  • Tolleson Union High School - Tolleson Union High School District
  • Arizona College Prep Erie Campus - Chandler Unified School District
  • Monument Valley High School - Kayenta Unified School District #27
  • Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy - Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy
  • Desert Edge High School - Agua Fria Union High School District

5% Increase or More

As of the end of March 2019, there are 149 high schools in Arizona that have increased their FAFSA completion rates compared to last year . Of those 149 schools, 77 of them deserve an honorable mention as they have increased their FAFSA completion rates by at least 5% compared to last year. Let's give the schools a round of applause!



Click here to view the list of schools