Governor Katie Hobbs Announces $500K Investment in FAFSA Initiatives to Help More Arizona Families Afford College

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Phoenix, AZ ~ Phoenix, AZ - In an effort to combat the decline in FAFSA submissions in Arizona, Governor Katie Hobbs has announced a $500,000 investment. This comes after the launch of a new FAFSA form this year, which was intended to simplify the process. However, delays and data issues have resulted in fewer students completing the form compared to previous years, causing Arizona to rank 49th in the nation for FAFSA completion.

Governor Hobbs has made expanding access to education a top priority and is determined to ensure that every Arizonan has the opportunity to pursue higher education. "As someone who personally benefited from work-study programs and scholarships during my college years, I understand the importance of taking advantage of all available resources," said Governor Hobbs. "FAFSA has helped millions of families and for many, it can be the final piece that makes their child's dream of attending college a reality. I strongly encourage every Arizona family with a graduating high school senior to submit their FAFSA this month."

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In line with her commitment to increasing FAFSA submissions, Governor Hobbs declared April as "Finish Line to the FAFSA" month earlier this month. She also sent a letter to school leaders, counselors, college access organizations, and community partners asking for their collaboration in helping high school seniors complete the form.

"I am grateful for the efforts of Arizona's school counselors, principals, partners, colleges, and universities in increasing FAFSA submissions," said Governor Hobbs. "It will take all of us working together to help more students complete their FAFSA and unlock the financial aid that will make their postsecondary education more affordable."

The $500,000 investment comes from Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) federal funding and will be used for three main purposes: increasing statewide resources for students and families, hosting more FAFSA completion events across the state, and supporting statewide initiatives to increase FAFSA submissions and provide resources during the summer months. The Arizona Board of Regents will be responsible for distributing the funds.

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To further support students, families, and college access professionals, a statewide FAFSA coalition led by the Arizona Board of Regents has created various resources. These include a calendar of in-person events, virtual events and appointments, a FAFSA hotline, text message support through Ask Benji, a communications toolkit, FAFSA pro tips, and access to Arizona College Connect - an innovative tool for high school educators to track FAFSA completion. These resources can be found at CollegeReadyAZ.com/FAFSA.

Governor Hobbs' investment and efforts to increase FAFSA submissions in Arizona demonstrate her dedication to expanding access to education for all Arizonans. With the support of various organizations and resources available, it is hoped that more students will take advantage of financial aid opportunities and pursue their dreams of higher education.

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