States Move to Require the FAFSA for High School Graduation

University graduates

High school students in three states — Illinois, Louisiana and Texas — already or will soon face a new graduation requirement: completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Lawmakers in at least another five states plus the District of Columbia are currently considering similar legislation — and it’s only February.

The simplicity of the policy is part of its appeal: If the FAFSA were a requirement for graduation, presumably, more students would complete the form, learn of aid availability and matriculate on to postsecondary education. Here at Education Commission of the States, we are learning all the time about what states can do to help preserve and leverage this simplicity into increased rates of college-going.

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