Equity in Action: Malverne Senior High School FAFSA Completion (Malverne Central School District – Long Island)
Malverne Senior High School has worked hard to develop a systemic approach to increasing its number of FAFSA completions.
With an estimated 51 percent completion rate as of February 1, Malverne ranks as one of the top-performers among Long Island high schools where the majority of students are low-income.
The school started a senior seminar course, which aims to prepare students for the college application process and offers them a dedicated time during the school day to complete the FAFSA.
Students who aren’t able to fit the course into their schedule have many other opportunities to complete the form at school with assistance from counselors.
The school has a dedicated space with resources and workspace in its guidance center, and works with students to schedule workshops where counselors can help small groups of seniors complete the forms.
They also offer workshops for parents, as well as a financial aid night where representatives from local colleges guide parents line by line through the FAFSA. Some parents fill out a paper copy, which they can use as a reference submitting the FAFSA online.
Malverne has found its outreach efforts have not only paid off getting more students to complete the forms, but also enticing students to be proactive in the process.
“In the past, we almost had to go after each student individually,” said School Counselor Rebecca Gottesman. “Now, we’re finding they know more about it and they’re coming to us for help.”