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Maryland races to boost FAFSA completion

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BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has released strategies to assist local school districts with helping more students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is used to apply for about $130 million in state scholarships and grants.

According to recent estimates, the Maryland completion rate is about 23% lower than last year. To improve these numbers, MSDE has teamed up with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to boost FAFSA completion.

The priority deadline for guaranteed state aid is Wednesday, May 15. If you meet this deadline, you should be guaranteed to receive state financial aid. The final deadline to submit the FAFSA is Saturday, June 1.

MSDE recommends that school districts allocate time during academic periods for seniors to work on filling out the FAFSA. They also suggest partnering with local community colleges and college access groups to provide support and follow-up assistance.

One-on-one support from a school counselor can also help students complete the FAFSA form. School counselors can also help identify students who are missing parts of the form and provide one-on-one support to help them through the process.

Communicating the importance of filling out the FAFSA is also important. This can be done by directly reaching out to students, families, and parent groups.

The U.S. Department of Education also offers resources for students and families, including a toolkit, how-to videos, and pro tips for filling out the FAFSA form.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

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