EdTrust-NY Announces the 2024 New York FAFSA Completion Challenge Winners

Jun 5, 2024 | Press Release

NEW YORK – The Education Trust–New York proudly unveils the winners of the 2024 New York FAFSA Completion Challenge today. Recognizing exceptional public high schools across New York State, this accolade celebrates their dedication and efforts in aiding students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a pivotal gateway for students from low-income backgrounds, students from immigrant households, and first-generation students to access crucial financial aid for higher education.

Each winning high school will receive a grant of $750 to award a scholarship to a graduating high school senior, poised to embark on their college journey in the upcoming fall semester. These scholarships aim to empower students from low-income backgrounds or first-generation college students. The New York FAFSA Completion Challenge distinguishes high schools for their exemplary FAFSA completion rates and notable improvements since 2019, categorized by region and school size. FAFSA Challenge winners will also serve as bright spots for other schools to learn from and EdTrust-NY will be highlighting their successful strategies in the coming year as New York begins to implement recently passed Universal FAFSA legislation designed to ensure all high school seniors have the opportunity to complete the FAFSA application.

Drawing inspiration from successful initiatives in other states, the FAFSA Completion Challenge shines a spotlight on high schools exhibiting outstanding FAFSA completion rates and notable progress in each of New York’s OSC Economic Regions.

Congratulations to the 2024 New York FASFA Completion Challenge Winners:

  • Academy Charter High School – Hempstead, NY
  • Delaware Academy Central School – Delhi, NY
  • Frederick Law Olmsted School – Buffalo, NY
  • Liverpool High School – Liverpool, NY
  • Promise Academy High School 1 – Manhattan
  • Salem High School – Salem, NY
  • School of the Arts – Rochester, NY
  • Yonkers Middle High School – Yonkers, NY

While we are excited for our winners, we acknowledge the decline in students’ completion rates compared to the previous year is attributed to the late implementation of Better FAFSA. Regrettably, the application process has been fraught with challenges, leading to a shortened cycle window for schools. Consequently, students may find themselves navigating crucial college decisions with limited access to their full array of aid options, compounded by significant delays and processing errors plaguing this FAFSA cycle.

“Every student should have access to financial support to realize their collegiate aspirations, and it all begins with the successful completion of the FAFSA. We are concerned that the challenges this cycle may foster distrust for future high school seniors who are uncertain about the financial aid process,” said Arlen Benjamin-Gomez, executive director of The Education Trust–New York. “We remain hopeful that the adoption of Universal FAFSA will pave the way for broader support, empowering more New York students to complete their applications and fostering equitable access to higher education opportunities.”

The Challenge was part of The New York FAFSA Completion Project, a statewide campaign launched by EdTrust-NY to encourage public high schools to increase the proportion of eligible students who complete the FAFSA and help identify and elevate best practices to support students in completing the FAFSA.

To learn more about the challenge winners check out our blog.

For additional information about the data for each high school in the state, FAFSA completion strategies are being used at New York schools, and resources please go to NYFAFSAChallenge.org. Complete Challenge rules can be found here.

For media inquiries please contact [email protected]

 ###

About The Education Trust–New York:

The Education Trust–New York works to eliminate the gaps in equity and opportunity that hold back too many students from reaching their full potential, especially those who are from low-income backgrounds or students of color, in order to enable all students in New York State to achieve at high levels — from early childhood through college. Learn more at EdTrustNY.org.