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May 12, 2022

Missouri public high schools awarded for FAFSA completion efforts

Summer FAFSA Frenzy events give extra opportunity for financial aid assistance


Eleven public high schools in Missouri are being recognized for helping students plan financially for postsecondary 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. This year’s competition started Oct. 1 when the 2022-23 FAFSA opened, and ended April 1, the Access Missouri Grant’s final deadline.

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 and Career Attainment Network are sponsoring the scholarship prizes.

“We are extremely proud that many schools this year were able to help a higher percentage of students complete the FAFSA and plan financially for life after high school,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “After multiple years of low FAFSA rates due to the pandemic, we are excited to see an increase in FAFSA filing, and hope it will reflect more students continuing their education.”

Winning high schools include:

Highest Overall Completion

  • 1-500 students: Pattonsburg High (Pattonsburg R-II) – 81.8%
  • 501-1200 students: Lincoln College Prep (Kansas City 33) – 69.8%
  • 1201+ students: Rockwood Summit Sr High (Rockwood R-VI) – 61.8%


Most Improved Completion

  • 1-500 students: Oak Ridge High (Oak Ridge R-VI) – +37.3%
  • 501-1200 students: Reeds Spring High (Reeds Spring R-VI) – +14.3%
  • 1201+ students: Republic High (Republic R-III) – +4.9%


Greatest Percentage of Lowest Income Filers

  • 1-500 students: North Pemiscot Sr. High (North Pemiscot Co. R-I) 100%
  • 501-1200 students: Vashon High (St. Louis City) – 100%
  • 1201+ students: Ruskin High School (Hickman Mills C-1) – 90.7%


Most Innovative Strategy

  • 1-500 students: Oak Ridge High (Oak Ridge R-VI)
  • 501-1200 students: No Submissions 
  • 1201+ students: Poplar Bluff High (Poplar Bluff R-I)


There were 41 schools that reached the statewide FAFSA filing goal of 55 percent by April 1. Princeton R-V Jr.-Sr. High 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 Fall 2022 as the scholarship recipient.


Free FAFSA events

Filing the FAFSA is often the first step to securing financial aid for college. Students attending college during the 2022-23 academic year will have another chance for free help completing their FAFSA through the Summer FAFSA Frenzy events planned throughout the state. The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development will host 15 FAFSA Frenzy events at local Missouri Job Centers starting later this month through July 13. Professionals and volunteers will be on hand at the FAFSA Frenzy Summer Edition events to offer free assistance and answer any questions students may have.

The Summer FAFSA Frenzy events are open to any student currently attending or interested in attending a college or university, no matter where they live, go to school, or plan to attend college. Attendees should create a Federal Student Aid account at studentaid.gov prior to attending, and bring their log in information, their Social Security number, 2020 federal tax returns, W-2s, and records of any investments or money earned.

Events will be held in the following locations:

  • May 24 - Capital City Job Center in Jefferson City, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • May 25 - Full Employment Council in Kansas City, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • May 25 - Rolla Job Center, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • June 1 - Washington Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • June 3 - Kirkville Job Center, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • June 7 - Chillicothe Job Center, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • June 8 - St. Joseph Job Center, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • June 9 - Poplar Bluff Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • June 10 - Sedalia Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • June 14 - Kennett Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • June 15 - Sikeston Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • June 15 - Nevada Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • June 30 - Park Hills Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • July 12 - Arnold Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.
  • July 13 - St. Charles Job Center, 12 p.m.- 6 p.m.


For more information about the competition and to view the Show-Me FAFSA tracker, visit https://dhewd.mo.gov/ppc/fafsachallenge.php. For more information about filing the FAFSA, visit https://journeytocollege.mo.gov/pay/file-a-fafsa/.


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.