Deloitte Supports FAFSA Completion Success at PeerForward Schools
Deloitte has been a long-time supporter of PeerForward and our push to increase early FAFSA completion in PeerForward partner schools. This work is vital to increasing the number of students from low-income communities who get to and through college, as students who file the FAFSA early are shown to double the amount of grant aid they receive. Further, the sooner students know that federal financial aid is available to them, the sooner college becomes a real, tangible prospect for their future.
We are excited to share that, in the 2018-19 school year, our Peer Leaders went above and beyond in their high schools to get their peers to complete the FAFSA. As of our early completion goal of March 1st, 44% of seniors in PeerForward schools had completed the FAFSA compared to 37% in the baseline year (the year before PeerForward was implemented in each respective school). This represented a 7–percentage–point increase over baseline. And by May 31st, 53% of seniors in PeerForward had completed the FAFSA, representing a total of 9,311 seniors in our partner schools.
Research done by the University of Pittsburgh for the past two years has shown that PeerForward schools are making strides in FAFSA completion compared to schools without the program. Using a quasi-experimental design, the University of Pittsburgh compared PeerForward schools to a control group of non-PeerForward schools that correlated on similar characteristics. For the 2017-18 school year, these studies showed PeerForward schools displaying a 15% higher FAFSA completion rate than comparison schools overall, with California partner schools showing a 37% higher completion rate and New York partner schools showing a 28% higher completion rate than comparison schools. This represents approximated $7 million more in financial and state aid available to students at our partner schools that may not have been accessed without the work of our Peer Leaders.
From FAFSA nights to gift card incentives to college financial aid advising sessions, our Peer Leaders organized highly effective campaigns and events in their high schools to make sure their peers were filing the FAFSA. Our positive program results for this past year are a testament to the true drive and passion our Peer Leaders possess, as well as the value that support from partners like Deloitte brings in helping us train and coach our Peer Leaders to do this work within their high schools.
PeerForward thanks Deloitte for not only their continued support in our FAFSA completion campaign, but in contributing their time and resources in our various projects and events throughout the school year. From Training Camps to Impact Day events, Deloitte is a constant contributor to the PeerForward mission, and we are grateful for their partnership.