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Tips for encouraging your students to complete the FAFSA

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

With 36 percent of the state’s high school seniors competing the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA), South Dakota now ranks 28th in the country in terms of FAFSA completion*.

While that is a great achievement for South Dakota – especially during a pandemic – the number is still 6 percent lower than the previous academic year.

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 school counselor, you can encourage your 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 We be scheduling training events for counselors. 

Mapping Your Future, sponsored by the South Dakota Education Access Foundation, has publications and other materials and resources for you and your students. Contact Cathy Mueller or Beth Ziehmer at or or at 1-800-374-4072 for more information or assistance.

 Events for Counselors

Deuel School District Financial Aid Event

Thursday, December 16 at 10:00 AM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Beth Ziehmer

More Info

Rutland School District Financial Aid Night

Thursday, February 10 at 6:30 PM CST
Online Meeting
Host: Beth Ziehmer

More Info