Report shows less students filled out a FAFSA in 2021, local schools aim to increase applicants

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A report from the Wisconsin Policy Association shows that 12% less students filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in 2021 than the previous school year. 

It's a disappointing number to Milwaukee Public School's (MPS) superintendent Keith Posley. He blames the pandemic for the drop in applicants, and now, he says MPS plans to ramp up efforts to get more students to fill out the FAFSA.

"We bring our focus, and energy, and additional effort to encourage young people to get this done," said Posley. 

MPS is collaborating with local colleges, UW Milwaukee and MCTS, to hold workshops, both virtually and in schools. 

Former Vincent High School student Jamarquan Houston talked at an event to announce the efforts. He called his struggles with filling out the FAFSA a "time-consuming process." 

"When I was doing the FAFSA, there was one part I couldn’t get past without my mom's Social Security number, and when I called my mom for it she was not going for it at all," said Houston. 

Houston wants to encourage high school seniors to dedicate their time and motivate themselves to get it done. 

Mayor Tom Barrett also encouraged parents to help with the process. 

"This is between the young people, their parents, guardians, grandparents, to make sure that they have what’s necessary to get the FAFSA completed," said Mayor Barrett. 

Workshops will be held at various MPS and MATC schools throughout October. There will also be virtual workshops. Counselors will be on hand to assist students.

All students must fill out a FAFSA form to attend any college. 


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