It’s FAFSA season! If you’d like to help us spread the word about the importance of completing the FAFSA, we have some great plug and play resources available at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov. Here are some ways you can use those resources to promote FAFSA completion at your high school or on your college campus:
- Host a FAFSA Night
Even though the FAFSA is simpler and faster to complete than ever, many students just prefer that someone walk them through it. To ease their anxiety, consider hosting a FAFSA completion night at your school. Contact local college financial aid offices, your state’s higher education department, TRIO programs, or local college access organizations to see if they have staff willing to volunteer and help out. When it comes time to start planning your event, we have lots of resources available to help you host a FAFSA Completion Workshop.
- Classroom Visits
Contact teachers and professors to see if you can do a quick FAFSA presentation at the beginning or end of class to remind students that it is time to fill out their FAFSAs. We even have videos and handouts that you can bring along with you!
- Write Articles and Emails
Do you have access to a list of student emails? How about writing an editorial for the school newspaper? If you don’t have the time or knowledge to write informational content about financial aid, we can help. We have provided sample articles and e-mails as well as some FAFSA related blog posts that you can use! Simply copy and paste; we’re giving you permission!
Whether you’re working with a corkboard or digital monitors, we have some great visual content for you to use. How about printing some of our infographics and posting them around your school? Or displaying one of our YouTube videos on the monitors around campus? You could also change the desktop wallpapers on school computers to remind students to complete their FAFSAs. These are just a few ideas. Find all of our resources here.
- Use Social Media
Does your school have a presence on social media? We’ve put together a list of social media resources you can use to promote FAFSA completion. It includes 25 Tweets and 25 Facebook posts, as well as a list of FAFSA related videos, infographics, and blog posts. If you’re looking for even more content, feel free to use or repost anything Federal Student Aid has posted on our social media accounts. That’s what the content is there for, so don’t be shy.
- Reach Out to Influencers
One of the most trustworthy forms of promotion is word of mouth. Who are the people that the students at your school trust and listen to most? Teachers, professors, student leaders, coaches, parents, and peers are just some examples. One of the most powerful things you can do to promote FAFSA completion is to reach out to these influencers and give them the knowledge and resources they need to help you spread the word about FAFSA completion.
- Be Creative
FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov has a number of resources available to help you promote FAFSA completion, but how can you take it to the next level? We’ve seen some awesome examples where schools have customized our videos, infographics and social media content to be specific to their school’s requirements and policies. We’ve also seen schools create some awesome visual resources of their own. When promoting FAFSA completion, we challenge you to think outside of the box. Just don’t forget to share your successes with us! We’d love to “borrow” your ideas.
Nicole Callahan is a new media analyst at the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.