Increased FAFSA completion rates among foster youth
One of the largest barriers to postsecondary education completion is access to financial aid. Despite being eligible, only 50 percent of foster youth receive a Pell Grant and 9 percent receive a Cal Grant. In 2017, FYCAP co-convener John Burton Advocates for Youth, launched the statewide “FAFSA Challenge.” The goal of this challenge is to support local jurisdiction in eliminating the FAFSA as a barrier to college enrollment.
In L.A. County, FYCAP partners, including LACOE, LAUSD, DCFS and others work to support and meet the goals of this challenge. As a result of this collaboration, for 2019, LA County was noted as being the most improved. Between October 2018 and July 2019, through targeted outreach and collaboration, LA County attained a 61 percent FAFSA completion rate this year for its foster youth who were high school seniors. This passes our goal goal of 60 percent and far surpasses last year’s completion rate of 33 percent and passes the FAFSA completion rate for LA County which was 57 percent for the year. This is significant because research shows that when high school seniors complete the FAFSA they are 61 percent more likely to enroll in college.