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State offers students free help applying for financial aid

4/1/2021, 6 p.m.
Gov. Ralph S. Northam said the state is offering free help to students and their families to apply for college ...

Gov. Ralph S. Northam said the state is offering free help to students and their families to apply for college financial aid.

The governor’s office said in a statement last week that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a decline in completion rates of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The Virginia College Access Network and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia have partnered to offer one-on-one FAFSA assistance.

Students and families can go to virginiacan.org/fafsa to schedule a virtual meeting and connect with an adviser until June 30.

Virginia has seen 4,300 fewer high school seniors complete the FAFSA. That’s a drop of nearly 10 percent compared to last year. The decline also mirrors the 9 percent drop in FAFSA completion rates across the country.

“Completing the FAFSA can be difficult under normal circumstances, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and shift to remote learning have added to the challenge of assisting our high school seniors with filling out their forms,” Gov. Northam said.