U.S. Education Department’s Federal Student Aid Office Partners with Local Organizations to Host Washington D.C. FAFSA College Expo

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The Department’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) office is partnering with local public and private organizations to host the Washington, D.C. FAFSA College Expo from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. The event is free to the public.

During the Expo, FSA staff will conduct workshops for students, parents, counselors and the general public about planning and paying for college or other postsecondary education. They will also answer questions about filling out the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid— which allows students to qualify for federal grants, loans, and work-study opportunities.

"Our overarching goal is to increase college access and completion," said James Runcie, chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid. "We are pleased to work collaboratively with local partners in our effort to increase the number of students and families who are familiar with the FAFSA and understand the importance of filling it out. This Expo is part of our commitment to provide families all the information they need to make informed decisions about planning and paying for postsecondary education."

More than one million high school seniors do not fill out the FAFSA, many of whom would be eligible for the Pell Grant. For this reason, President Obama recently announced the FAFSA Completion Initiative to help ensure that more of America’s students, particularly low-income students, take the first step toward college success: completing the FAFSA to have access to financial aid to fund their education.

The web-based FAFSA – available at FAFSA.gov – is considerably shorter to complete than just a few years ago. Many questions were eliminated and it now includes built-in navigation logic that lets students and families skip questions that don’t apply or are answered elsewhere.

Since putting these improvements in place, the average time to fill out the 2013-14 FAFSA has been reduced to 21 minutes.

In addition to the Education Department, other Expo partners include the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), the Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), the National Youth Transition Center, the SEE Forever Foundation. State and local representatives will also participate to discuss aid opportunities specific to D.C. and Maryland students.