Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion

 Connecticut FAFSA Challenge logo



2022-23 FAFSA Challenge Monthly Winners

May 2023

  • Challenge School: Weaver High School 
  • Non-Challenge School: Synergy Alternative Program

April 2023

  • Challenge School: Great Path Academy at MCC
  • Non-Challenge School: Synergy Alternative Program

March 2023

  • Challenge School:            Weaver High School
  • Non-Challenge School:    Synergy Alternative Program

February 2023

  • Challenge School:            Middletown High School
  • Non-Challenge School:    Elm City College Preparatory School

January 2023

  • Challenge School:  Connecticut River Academy at Goodwin University
  • Non-Challenge School: Bridgeport Military Academy

December 2022

  • Challenge School:  New Haven Academy (New Haven School District)
  • Non-Challenge School: Amistad Academy

November 2022

  • Challenge School:  Wamogo Regional High School (Regional School District 06)
  • Non-Challenge School: The Bridge Academy

October 2022

  • Challenge School: Waterford High School
  • Non-Challenge School: Achievement First Hartford Academy


2022-23 FAFSA Challenge Materials

The Connecticut Governor’s Office and the CSDE are continuing the FAFSA Challenge during the 2022-23 school year, beginning in September 2022 with a nine-month initiative where high schools across the state will be charged with boosting FAFSA completion rates for the class of 2023 relative to the class of 2022. The FAFSA Challenge will provide microgrants, trainings, and other resources to 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.

Resources to Support FAFSA Completion

FAFSA Family Guide English


FAFSA Family Guide Spanish

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: