Indiana lawmakers take next step to require FAFSA submission

<p>INDIANAPOLIS &mdash; A bill that would require students at public schools to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid advanced to the Indiana House after lawmakers approved the measure in a Senate vote Tuesday.</p>
<p>Under the <a href="">plan</a>, authored by Republican Sen. Jean Leising, high school seniors would be required to fill out a FAFSA form unless a parent or school administrator signs an exemption waiver.</p>
<p>Because the Indiana Commission for Higher Education digitally tracks which students have completed the federal aid application, Leising said schools can easily monitor submission progress online.</p>
<p>“We really need to do this in Indiana because we’re not ranking well,” Leising said Tuesday, adding that Indiana ranks 32nd in the country for student FAFSA completion.</p>
<p>Only 60% of Indiana’s 2020 high school graduates completed a FAFSA form, according to the National College Attainment Network. Leising said that left more than $70 million in potential federal aid unclaimed by Hoosier learners.</p>
<p>The Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and multiple Indiana colleges have supported the bill.</p>
<p>Similar measures have been adopted in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois. Leising noted those laws have resulted in FAFSA participation rates to “increase significantly.”</p>