Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion

 Connecticut FAFSA Challenge logo


Sign up for Free Virtual FAFSA Trainings

Trainings include:

  • Preparing for FAFSA Simplification, November 1, 2023, from 2:30-3:45 p.m.
  • FAFSA 101, December 12, 2023 (Part 1) and December 13, 2023 (Part 2) from 2:30-3:45 p.m.
  • FAFSA Q&A, January 30, 2024, from 2:30-3:45 p.m.

2023-24 FAFSA Challenge Materials

The Connecticut Governor’s Office and the CSDE are continuing the FAFSA Challenge during the 2023-24 school year, beginning in September 2023 with an eleven-month initiative where high schools across the state will be charged with boosting FAFSA completion rates for the Class of 2024 relative to the Class of 2023. 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.

The State Department of Education invites 109 eligible high schools to participate in the 2023-24 Connecticut FAFSA Challenge. More information on the Challenge, including the brief school application, can be found below.

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.

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