The National College Access Network announced in a blog on its website that Odessa is among the 25 U.S. cities selected to receive up to $40,000 each for the 2018-19 FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant.
Odessa College Director of Financial Aid Ashley Warren said OC submitted its FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant application requesting $40,000 to NCAN in mid-May and proposed that the college would work in partnership with Ector County Independent School District to successfully meet the Completion Challenge, a news release said.
NCAN approved the college’s grant for the full amount.
Through the FAFSA Completion Challenge project, funded by The Kresge Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. and affiliates, NCAN challenges each of the grant recipients to increase their FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percentage points for the graduating high school class of 2019.
In an effort to address equity gaps, the challenge focuses on cities with current FAFSA completion rates below the national average.
The 2018-19 competition builds on the success of the original Kresge-funded 2016-17 FAFSA Completion Challenge.
Ninety percent of high school seniors who complete FAFSA attend college directly after high school, compared to 55 percent of FAFSA non-completers.
NCAN will award a $100,000 grand prize in September 2019 at its national conference in Indianapolis to one city based on a holistic review of the percentage growth in completions, adoption of effective strategies, barriers overcome and likelihood of sustainability.