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Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSA

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

March 3, 2022

While the number of South Dakota’s high school seniors applying for financial aid this year is staying steady compared to last year, the number FAFSA completions has dropped overall since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

As of February 18, 33 percent of South Dakota's high school seniors completed the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA).

Knowing that most careers require some type of education beyond high school and that FAFSA completion is strongly correlated with postsecondary pursuit, then completing the FAFSA is an important step for students.

As a college access professional or school counselor, you can encourage students to complete the FAFSA by doing the following:

  • Help your students envision the future by participating in Mapping Your Future’s Guide to Life after High School.
  • Set up a FAFSA completion event in a school computer lab.
  • Let your students know they can get one-on-one assistance and answers to their FAFSA questions by calling Mapping Your Future at 1-800-374-4072.
  • Provide information about FAFSA preparation events. Mapping Your Future hosts live events and is available to help with events at your site.
  • Learn more about financial aid by visiting

If you or your students have questions about the FAFSA or financial aid, you can contact Mapping Your Future at or 1-800-374-4072.