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May 14, 2021

Missouri public high schools awarded for FAFSA completion efforts

Show-Me FAFSA Challenge winners announced


Eleven public high schools in Missouri are being recognized for helping students plan financially for higher education. In an effort to promote completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) among high school seniors, the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) launched the Show-Me FAFSA Challenge in October 2020. The competition ended April 1.

Public high schools throughout the state competed with each other for scholarship prizes. Schools were automatically entered and sorted into three groups based on size. Each group competed for prizes in four categories, including highest completion rate, most improved completion rate, greatest percentage of lowest income students filed, and most innovative strategy. Random drawings were held to decide the winners in categories where there were ties. The Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation and the Missouri College Access Network are sponsoring the scholarship prizes.

“In spite of challenges created by COVID-19, many schools were still able to help their students take this important step to understanding their financial aid options for college,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “We were excited to see several schools exceed the 60 percent filing goal, and we look forward to continuing this competition next year.”

Winning high schools include:

Highest Overall Completion:

  • South Holt High (South Holt Co. R-I) 73.7%
  • Bayless Senior High (Bayless) 66.3%
  • Rockwood Summit Sr High (Rockwood R-VI) 57.7%


Most Improved Completion:

  • Collegiate School of Med/Bio (St. Louis City) +37.1%
  • Chillicothe High (Chillicothe R-II) +33.4%
  • Marquette Sr High (Rockwood R-VI) +44.2%


Greatest Percentage of Lowest Income Filers:

  • Alton High (Alton R-IV) 100%
  • Northeast High (Kansas City 33) 100%
  • McCluer High (Ferguson-Florissant R-II) 89.3%


Most Innovative Strategy:

  • Charleston High (Charleston R-I)


There were nine schools that reached the statewide FAFSA filing goal of 60 percent. Chadwick High (Chadwick R-I) was the winning school chosen based on a random drawing held for that overall prize.

Winning schools will designate one of their graduating seniors who will attend a Missouri postsecondary institution in 2021 as the scholarship recipient.

For more information about the competition and to view the FAFSA tracker, visit https://dhewd.mo.gov/ppc/fafsachallenge.php.


About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.