High School Seniors Encouraged Not to Leave Money on the Table

The March 1, 2022 deadline for high school seniors and their families to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and remain eligible for up to two years of tuition-free community or technical college with Tennessee Promise is quickly approaching.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is working closely with Tennessee high schools, higher education institutions, and Tennessee Promise partnering organizations to support students in completing the FAFSA and educate them on all financial aid opportunities available.

Last year, in addition to losing their Tennessee Promise, high school graduates across the state left an estimated $48 million dollars in federal Pell Grant funding on the table for college tuition and fees by not finishing the FAFSA.

“Completing a FAFSA opens the door for thousands of dollars in state and federal financial aid for Tennessee’s students,” said Dr. Emily House, executive director of THEC and TSAC. “Our goal is that every eligible Tennessee high school senior has the opportunity to make plans for college and succeed, and completing a FAFSA is a critical first step, especially before the Tennessee Promise deadline.”

Students who complete the FAFSA are also more likely to enroll in higher education, persist in their college coursework, and obtain a degree.

Filing a FAFSA is the first step students must take to apply for most state and federal financial aid for college. To assist in navigating the FAFSA process, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation have curated a number of resources for students and schools to support Tennessee’s FAFSA completion efforts. Student resources include step-by-step FAFSA-filing instructions and videos. School resources include guides focused on helping high schools strengthen their FAFSA completion numbers.