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Ohio High School Seniors May Miss Out on Millions in College Aid

Updated: Feb 11

Ohio's class of 2021 left $111 million in Pell Grant Aid on the table


DAYTON, Ohio (Friday, February 4, 2022) – Ohio's high school class of 2022 could miss out on millions of dollars in college grant money they can access by taking roughly an hour to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


According to a study from the National College Attainment Network, Ohio's high school class of 2021 left $111 million in Pell Grant aid on the table because they did not fill out a FAFSA. Ohio ranked eighth highest amongst all states in Pell Grant money left on the table.


After filing the FAFSA, nearly 40 percent of Ohio high school seniors qualify for Pell Grants of up to $6,495 per year. Pell Grants do not need to be repaid, and they can be used for a broad range of technical and academic education after high school.


Completing the FAFSA also unlocks access to billions of dollars in financial aid for college, including grants, scholarships, college work-study jobs and subsidized student loans. Ohio currently ranks 14th nationally, with 36 percent of high school seniors completing a FAFSA through January 21, 2022, unchanged from last year.


"One of the biggest reasons families don't complete the FAFSA is that they don't think they will qualify for financial aid. However, 85 percent of families who complete the FAFSA do get help paying for education after high school," said Learn to Earn Dayton CEO Kristina Scott. "Financial aid is limited, and that's why everyone who plans to go to college in the fall should complete their FAFSA as soon as possible."

Students should fill out the FAFSA during their senior year of high school and each year of college. Adults thinking about going back to school can also file the FAFSA and qualify for Pell Grants and other financial aid.


Students should fill out the FAFSA during their senior year of high school and each year of college. Adults thinking about going back to school can also file the FAFSA and qualify for Pell Grants and other financial aid.

Families can complete the FAFSA on the myStudentAid mobile app or the mobile-friendly FAFSA website. Students and their parents should complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA, and they can complete the form separately and go between their phones and desktop computers. 


"Most jobs that will support a family require a degree or specialized training after graduating from high school," said Superintendent of the Montgomery County ESC, Shannon Cox. "Our Montgomery County schools are committed to helping families understand the importance of completing the FAFSA while supporting the family through the process. We need to ensure our families feel comfortable in the process."