Utahns are notorious for missing out on free federal college aid because they don't apply, or complete the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
At the start of 2016, Utah was ranked 50 for its FAFSA-completion rate.
Due, however, to a statewide effort to walk high school seniors through the application process, Utah's completion rate jumped 39 percent last year, the second largest gain in the country. Leading the way was Jordan High, which now boasts the second highest completion rate in Utah, says Tori Gillett, CSD's School Counseling Program Specialist.
In Canyons District, all high school seniors are encouraged to complete a FAFSA along with at least one college application — and with $10,000 in financial aid from the Canyons Education Foundation, they're able to afford the college application fees. Last year, 2,328 seniors submitted college applications as part of Utah College Application Week. Of those, 85 percent said the experience made them more interested in going to college.
Following are the dates and times for FAFSA completion fairs at a school near you. Students are welcome to attend whichever fair is most convenient for them.
Nov. 9, Jordan High, 6–8 p.m.
Nov. 9, Hillcrest High, 4–7 p.m.
Nov. 14, Corner Canyon High, 6–9 p.m.
Nov. 16, Alta High, 5:30–8:30 p.m.
Nov. 16, Diamond Ridge High, 6-8 p.m.
By completing the FAFSA, students become eligible for scholarships awarded by individual colleges and:
Pell Grants: A Pell Grant is money the government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Eligible students receive a specified amount each year under this program.
Work Study: The federal government gives money to colleges and universities to hire students to work on campus. This allows students to have a job while they are attending school. Loans: These loans are subsidized by the government and have better repayment terms than loans from banks for other financial institutions.