67 Cities Apply for FAFSA Challenge Grants

April 18, 2016

By Sara Melnick, Deputy Director

NCAN is pleased to announce that 67 of 118 invited U.S. cities applied for the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant! The list of 118 invited cities was determined using the Census Bureau's 2014 estimated population data and includes the 100 largest cities by population size plus the most populous city in each state state. Applications came from 43 states plus Puerto Rico. Through this project, generously supported by The Kresge Foundation, NCAN is challenging cities to increase FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percent for the graduating high school class of 2017.

Increasing FAFSA completion is essential because of its close correlation with postsecondary enrollment and completion. Unfortunately, among the high school senior class of 2014, approximately 45 percent of graduates did not complete the FAFSA. Many of them would have qualified for federal, state, and institutional grants for college. 

The large number of FAFSA Challenge grant applications is a testament to the enormous level of excitement and engagement about increasing FAFSA completion. We applaud the work that is going on nationwide and are eager to see what is to come next.

NCAN will evaluate the applications with the assistance of a distinguished advisory committee:

  • Lindsay Ahlman, TICAS
  • Caroline Altman Smith, Kresge Foundation
  • Sarah Bauder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Eddie Brambila, Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Diane Corbett, Ohio State University
  • Denise Davis, Educate Texas/TxCAN
  • Jennier Dunn, College Board
  • Juan Garcia, ACT
  • Haley Glover, Lumina Foundation
  • Sarah Kirschenbaum, ECMC Foundation
  • Troy Miller, Florida College Access Network
  • Ed Pacchetti, Office of Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education
  • Lindsay Page, University of Pittsburgh
  • Pat Roe, USA Funds
  • Sarah Weiss, Washington Student Achievement Council

In May, NCAN will announce the 20 cities selected from these 67 to receive grants of up to $55,000 each to support innovative cross-sector FAFSA completion strategies. In the meantime, please help us congratulate the 67 cities listed below that applied for this opportunity.

Anchorage AK
Birmingham AL
Phoenix AZ
Tucson AZ
Bakersfield CA
Fresno CA
Los Angeles CA
Oakland CA
Aurora CO
Denver CO
Bridgeport CT
Washington DC
Tampa FL
Jacksonville FL
St. Petersburg FL
Atlanta GA
Des Moines IA
Chicago IL
Fort Wayne IN
Indianapolis IN
Wichita KS
Louisville KY
Baton Rouge LA
Portland ME
Baltimore MD
Boston MA
Detroit MI
Minneapolis MN
Jackson MS
Kansas City MO
Billings MT
Omaha NE
North Las Vegas NV
Newark NJ
Buffalo NY
Albuquerque NM
Durham NC
Greensboro NC
Winston-Salem NC
Manchester NH
Cincinnati OH
Cleveland OH
Columbus OH
Oklahoma City OK
Portland OR
Philadelphia PA
Pittsburgh PA
San Juan PR
Charleston SC
Memphis TN
Arlington TX
Austin TX
Corpus Christi TX
El Paso TX
Houston TX
Irving TX
Laredo TX
San Antonio TX
Salt Lake City UT
Burlington VT
Norfolk VA
Virginia Beach VA
Seattle WA
Charleston WV
Madison WI
Milwaukee WI
Cheyenne WY

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