Polk County seniors lead state in FAFSA completion rate

Polk County Schools have the highest rate of completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) of any school district in the state, according to data from the United States Department of Education.

A completed FAFSA allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine a potential student’s eligibility for federal student aid – a key factor in families’ college decisions.

As of May 26, more than 75 percent of Polk County seniors had completed the FAFSA, making Polk County Schools the only district in the state with such a completion rate.

The DOE data only looks at students who sent their FAFSA to in-state schools. College adviser Matt Renn said that his records indicate almost 85 percent of seniors filed a FAFSA this year.

“Completing the FAFSA is a critical step in the college application process,” Renn said. “In Polk and Rutherford Counties, any high school graduate who submits the FAFSA receives the Lee L. Powers Service Scholarship at Isothermal Community College, which is a full-tuition scholarship to ICC.

“Taking 30 minutes to complete the FAFSA allows our students to go to college for free – an incredible and unprecedented opportunity for them.”