Mapping Your Future: Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSA


Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSA

By Catherine Mueller

March 01, 2022

The number of students applying for financial aid this year is up slightly with a 1.7 percent increase nationally when compared to the same period last year.

While that is good news, the increase comes after a year in which there was a significant drop in financial aid applications – a nearly 8 percent drop in the 2021-22 cycle.

As of February 18, 2022, 37.7 percent of the nation’s high school seniors completed the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA). Much of the drop in FAFSA completion has been attributed to the impact of the pandemic on students, families, and their plans for the future.

Knowing that most careers require some type of education beyond high school and that FAFSA completion is strongly correlated with postsecondary pursuit, then completing the FAFSA is an important step for students.

As a college access professional or school counselor, you can encourage students to complete the FAFSA by doing the following:

  • Help your students envision the future by participating in Mapping Your Future’s Guide to Life after High School.
  • Set up a FAFSA completion event in a school computer lab.
  • Let your students know they can get one-on-one assistance and answers to their FAFSA questions by calling Mapping Your Future at 1-800-374-4072.
  • Provide information about FAFSA preparation events. Mapping Your Future hosts live events and is available to help with events at your site.
  • Learn more about financial aid by visiting

If you or your students have questions about the FAFSA or financial aid, you can contact Mapping Your Future at or 1-800-374-4072.