Home / Articles / News / Money Tree / La. To Require Financial Aid Applications
By AP  /  
2015 December 29 - 10:01 pm

La. To Require Financial Aid Applications

High School Seniors Will Need To Fill Out FAFSA, State Application for Graduation

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a new policy that will require the state’s roughly 35,000 high school seniors to apply for financial aid for college or submit a signed form indicating that they won’t.

“We have two problems,” said state Superintendent of Education John White. “First, we are leaving tens of millions of dollars every year because we are not applying for financial aid that will fund not just universities but community colleges and technical training. That problem is compounded by the fact that it is really the kids that need the aid the most that are applying the least.”

Starting 2018, students will be required to apply for aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the Louisiana Office for Student Financial Assistance. Applications will be required for graduation.

However, students also can submit a form with a parent’s signature that says they are opting out of any financial requests.

FAFSA applications allow students to be eligible for a wide range of federal assistance, including Pell Grants, work-study programs and student loans, including technical training. They also serve as applications for TOPS, which provides state assistance for tuition and other costs.

LOFSA applications pave the way for state aid.

However, some students and families are put off by the applications themselves, including the required income information.

“I think, for some parents, it is overwhelming,” said Ashley Aucoin, a counselor at Lutcher High School. “But it is definitely not something they can’t get through.”

How much students typically miss out on is unclear, mostly because each case is heavily dependent on a family’s financial situation.

But White said even raising the percentage of Louisiana students who seek federal aid to the national average — about 55 percent — could generate $50 million. If all students sought those dollars, it could bring in about $250 million, he said.

Log in to use your Facebook account with
CC Week

Login With Facebook Account

Advocates Say Full Academic Load Is Key to On-Time Graduation

helps students. College students who enroll in 15 credits in their first semester, and 30 credits a year, accumulate mor... Full Story

Next Issue

Click on Cover
to view


League Leads Effort To Embed Colleges In Public Health Education

Community colleges long ago cemented their place as a central and critical contributor to the country’s health care wo... Full Story