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High School Officials Can Now Track Completed FAFSAs

Today, the U.S. Department of Education introduced a new tool to help high schools better track how students are doing when it comes to completing federal financial aid forms.

The season for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) began January 1 and runs through June 30, but experts advise students to complete the forms early.

Now, school counselors can track submission and completion statistics at individual high schools on the FAFSA Completion website. There is a drop-down menu to select by state, and then by school, to see the total number of FAFSA forms students submitted and finished.

"We know that completing a FAFSA is a critical component of accessing higher education, and this data will be a key tool for high school guidance counselors and local officials," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a written statement. "We hope that by providing this resource in the heart of FAFSA filing season we can empower school leaders as they assist students and families in preparing for college."

The information relayed in the FAFSA determines eligibility for Pell Grants, federal student loans, and work study opportunities. States and individual institutions also use the FAFSA data to decide on grants for non-federal sources of aid.

The FAFSA Completion Tool will be updated every two weeks.

Another pilot project by the department is testing providing schools with individual student data on FAFSA participation. That project will be expanding to include 92 additional sites next year.

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