Mesa Public Schools earns national grant to increase FAFSA completion rate

Red Mountain High School students at 2018 graduationMesa is one of 25 organizations in the country to receive up to a $40,000 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant from National College Access Network.

The district received the grant to meet the challenge of increasing the Class of 2019's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rate by at least five percentage points, as compared to the Class of 2018. The grant is funded by The Kresge Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates.

FAFSA completion can help predict student success in postsecondary education, with 90 percent of seniors who complete FAFSA attending college directly after high school.

"This is a high-leverage investment for philanthropy because the FAFSA enables students to tap into huge amounts of government resources that often go unclaimed," says Caroline Altman Smith of The Kresge Foundation.

NCAN will award a $100,000 grand prize to one of the 25 organizations in September 2019, based on challenge results.

"Mesa Public Schools is committed to college and career readiness for all students," says Holly Williams, assistant superintendent and chief of staff. "We are thrilled to be in this exclusive list of organizations that are focused on widening future opportunities for students."

(Students walk at Red Mountain High School graduation May 24, 2018. Photo by Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools)


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