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Alabama high school seniors now required to fill out FAFSA applications before graduating

High school graduates required to fill out FAFSA form
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 9:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2022 at 11:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There are some new requirements this year for Alabama high schoolers looking to graduate. It just went into effect for this school year, but all high school seniors in Alabama now must complete the federal financial aide form, known as FAFSA, before they will be awarded their diploma.

It doesn’t matter if your high schooler is planning to head off to a two or four year college or not planning on college at all. Bessemer Superintendent, Dr. Autumm Jeter, said every student has to complete the FAFSA. All the data is being tracked by the Alabama Department of Education and Jeter said it’s so students are aware how much financial help they can get for college.

But, Jeter said it is not something students can do alone, parents have to help because the form is asking for their tax information. Jeter said the district is hoping to hit a 70 percent completion rate, but they are only at 30 percent.

“Because this is such a new law, parents don’t realized it is required for graduation,” Jeter said. “But, we are still going to push and work with our parents. We will provide sessions during the school day, after school hours, and virtual sessions to guide and coach them.”

Jeter said students have about one month to finish the application before graduation, but there is a few weeks after the ceremony where students can still complete it and not have their name reported to the Alabama Department of Education.

Click here for the FAFSA application.

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