State Education Department Launches Interactive Online FAFSA Tracker

The state Education Department is launching a new online tool to track completion rates for Free Application for Federal Student Aid submissions that will provide schools and districts with information to encourage and assist students with completing and filing the FAFSA form.

The state FAFSA Tracker allows users to view the overall number of completed applications for high schools across the state and compare them with their peers. Users are also able to view application progress trends year-to-year or review weekly, monthly and year-to-date rankings of schools.

“For many of New York’s students, particularly those that come from low-income backgrounds, FAFSA is the first step in making their college dream a reality,” said Betty A. Rosa, state Board of Regents chancellor. “Collectively, we all need to ensure that every child in this state has access to a high-quality education. By raising awareness of options to help pay for college, we are opening a door to opportunity that many may not believe could be possible.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, FAFSA completion is a critical indicator of postsecondary enrollment. Data suggests that 90 percent of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA attend college directly from high school, compared to just 55 percent of FAFSA non-completers. Additionally, research shows that in 2018 alone, New York students lost out on more than $152 million in college aid by not filling out the FASFA.

“At a time when higher education is becoming increasingly essential, we want to make sure that as many students as possible have access to financial aid and have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed now and in the future,” said MaryEllen Elia, state education commissioner. “I thank the team at Data Insight Partners for creating this valuable tool and bringing it to New York students and schools.”

Filing the FAFSA form is required for students to receive access to certain student aid programs such as the federal Pell Grant and federal student loans. The form is also used by New York state resident students to apply for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, Excelsior Scholarship, and other state financial aid programs. FAFSA is also used by several colleges and universities for awarding institution-based aid.

The FAFSA Tracker website is a free service provided by Data Insight Partners in support of the advancement of students in New York.