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District Wins $25,000 for Increase in FASFA Participation

The National College Access Network announced Denton ISD as a winner, first runner-up, in the 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge last week at the 2019 NCAN National Conference Indianapolis. As the first runner-up, Denton ISD received $25,000 to continue its FAFSA completion work out of the more than two dozen U.S. cities that participated in the Challenge.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) effectively serves as the gateway to higher education for millions of students each academic year. But the complex and extensive nature of the FAFSA deters some students from applying for the financial aid for which they would otherwise qualify.


In an effort to boost FAFSA completion rates across the country, NCAN selected 25 U.S. cities to receive a grant of up to $40,000 each for the 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge. This work was led by a mix of school districts, postsecondary institutions, community-based organizations, and foundations.


NCAN challenged each of the grant recipients to increase their FAFSA completion rates by at least five percentage points for the graduating high school class of 2019. In an effort to address equity gaps, this Challenge specifically focused on cities with baseline FAFSA completion rates below the national average.


The project was spearheaded by the Denton ISD Counseling Dept. lead by Amy Lawrence, Director of Counseling Services. The team included Brandy Guilford, Lacey Martin, Kristi Gibson, Andrea Wyatt, Jeanie Bragg, Trevena Willis, Kim Rhodes, Sarah Morales, Nicole Dampman, Amy Williams, Ria Morrison, Beth Hughes, Seth Ross, Heather Lentz, Will Matthews, Christina Baker, Chris Lydia and Jennifer Phillips.