Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion


 Connecticut FAFSA Challenge logo



Monthly FAFSA Challenge Winners

(Schools Showing Greatest Percentage Point Increase in the Month)

April 2022

Challenge School:  Central High School (Bridgeport)

Non-Challenge School:   Capital Preparatory Harbor School

March 2022

Challenge School:    Bullard Havens Technical High School

Non-Challenge School:   Capital Preparatory Harbor School

February 2022

Challenge School:  W. F. Kaynor Technical High School

Non-Challenge School:  Capital Preparatory Magnet School

January 2022

Challenge School: Ansonia High School

Non-Challenge School: Amistad Academy

December 2021

Challenge School: Windham High School

Non-Challenge School: The Bridge Academy

November 2021

Challenge School: Montville High School

Non-Challenge School: The Bridge Academy

October 2021

Challenge School:  Henry Abbott Technical High School

Non-Challenge School: Granby Memorial High School


Resources to Support FAFSA Completion

FAFSA Family Guide English


FAFSA Family Guide Spanish


Troubleshooting: Why Are Some Student FAFSA Submissions Not Showing in the FAFSA Completion Reports?

FAFSA Challenge "Buddy List" - partner organizations for districts and schools


2021-22 FAFSA Challenge Materials

The Connecticut Governor’s Office and the CSDE are continuing the FAFSA Challenge during the 2021-22 school year, beginning in September 2021 with a nine-month initiative where high schools across the state will be charged with boosting FAFSA completion rates for the class of 2022 relative to the class of 2021. The FAFSA Challenge will provide microgrants, trainings, and other resources to up to 53 eligible high schools serving students with high needs as a means of helping seniors access the financial aid they deserve to pursue a postsecondary education.

Schools Participating in 2021-22 Challenge

Press Release Launching 2021-22 Challenge

2021-22 FAFSA Challenge Application for Eligible Schools and Districts (Qualtrics submission form)

List of Schools and Districts Eligible for 2021-22 FAFSA Challenge

FAFSA Challenge 2021-22: Overview and Application Informational Session (September 29, 2021 - 2:30 pm) Slide deck Video Recording (YouTube)

FAFSA Completion Rates - EdSight Dashboard


Measures of Success for the 2021-2022 FAFSA Challenge



A statewide completion goal of 60% or an increase of approximately 5 percentage points from 2020-21



90% of FAFSA Challenge Schools will increase their FAFSA completion rate by 5 percentage points or more



100% of high school schools in the FAFSA Challenge will strengthen their partnerships with institutions of higher education and/or community-based organizations




Why Does Connecticut Run a FAFSA Challenge?

The Connecticut Governor’s Office and Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) are committed to ensuring all students graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary success. Specifically, the FAFSA Challenge seeks to advance three overarching objectives:

  • Improve Student Outcomes:  Support students in achieving their goals for college, career, and life success by addressing FAFSA completion as a core access milestone.
  • Close Opportunity Gaps:  Promote access for all students by closing opportunity gaps for historically marginalized subgroups and school communities.
  • Spark Innovation:  Support schools in pursuing creative ideas to promote FAFSA completion.

Even prior to the pandemic, thousands of Connecticut students eligible for federal student aid failed to submit the FAFSA each year, leaving millions of unclaimed dollars that could support students’ postsecondary education. The FAFSA is a critical access milestone in preparing high school students to pursue a higher education.  Administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid, the FAFSA provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Connecticut students.

FAFSA completion and college access are important, in part, because more than 70 percent of Connecticut jobs require some form of education beyond a high school diploma, and nine of the 10 fastest-growing occupations require at least an associate’s degree.  While many students aspire to a higher education, less than half of Connecticut high school graduates will earn a college degree within six years of graduating from high school.  College enrollment and completion data also reveal opportunity gaps for historically marginalized subgroups.  Completion of the FAFSA is one of the best predictors of whether or not seniors will enroll in college; students who complete the FAFSA are 84 percent more likely to immediately enroll in postsecondary education.


Partner Organizations: