NYS FAFSA Completion Initiative

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Reach Higher: FAFSA Completion Challenge

The Reach Higher Initiative is First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college or a four-year college or university. In today’s economy, a high school diploma often just isn’t enough.

The First Lady’s “FAFSA Completion Challenge” urges high schools to increase Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates among their seniors.

“Through the FAFSA, the [U.S.] Department of Education provides more than $150 billion each year in loans, grants, and work-study programs that can help [students and their] families pay for college.  That’s why I’m calling on every high school senior in America to complete their FAFSA form starting January 1st.”

NYS FAFSA Completion Initiative

Students who complete the FAFSA while in high school have higher college enrollment rates, and maximize their access to free and low-cost financial aid to support their postsecondary educational costs. 

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) encourages all high schools to participate in the New York State FAFSA Completion Initiative to receive information that will enable you to target your efforts to increase the number of graduating seniors who complete the FAFSA.

How to Join The NYS FAFSA Completion Initiative

  1. Complete, sign and submit a Data Access and Security Agreement. If you have questions when completing the Agreement, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  2. Complete, sign and submit a Chief Authorizing Official (CAO) Designation Form. You will receive an email from HESC containing the CAO Designation Form once HESC is in receipt of your signed Data Access Security Agreement.
  3. A CAO account will be established for you and instructions will be emailed on how to grant other employees in your high school or district access to filing status information.
  4. You and your other designated staff can now access information on your students’ FAFSA and TAP filing status.

NYC District Schools 

Contact the New York City Department of Education to register:
Sugeni Perez Sadler, Director of College and Career Planning
Office of Postsecondary Readiness
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.