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Navigating FAFSA: Alabama Possible Stands Strong for Students

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At Alabama Possible, they recognize the critical importance of ensuring that every student has access to the support they need to navigate the FAFSA process successfully. (Adobe Stock)

By Chandra Scott | Special to The Times

Chandra Scott (Provided)

As the Class of 2024 prepares to step into the next chapter of their lives, there’s an undeniable buzz of excitement in the air. However, amidst the celebration and anticipation, there’s also a pressing concern weighing on the minds of many students and families: the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Completing the FAFSA has long been a pivotal milestone for students seeking to pursue higher education. It opens doors to financial assistance that can make the difference between realizing their dreams or putting them on hold. However, the journey through FAFSA this year has been fraught with highs and lows, presenting challenges that have left many feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.

In Alabama, where only 31.3 percent of high school seniors have completed the FAFSA, the urgency of this situation cannot be overstated. At Alabama Possible, we recognize the critical importance of ensuring that every student has access to the support they need to navigate this process successfully.

The rollout of the Better FAFSA form was meant to streamline the application process, but unfortunately, it has been marred by a series of setbacks and errors. Despite its shorter length, students and families have encountered unexpected roadblocks that have hindered their progress. Through all the challenges, Alabama Possible remains steadfast in our commitment to advocating for change at the federal level.

To our high school counselors and career coaches: thank you. As we approach the final weeks before graduation, we extend a heartfelt invitation to utilize the wealth of resources that Alabama Possible offers, completely free of charge. Together, we can empower students to overcome obstacles and seize the opportunities that await them.

To the students and families who may be feeling discouraged: you’ve done everything right, and we’re here to reassure you that brighter days lie ahead. Alabama Possible will continue to press federal student aid authorities to remove the barriers that stand between you and your dreams.

In a state where financial barriers loom large, our mission to remove obstacles to postsecondary pathways is more critical now than ever. Our Summer Build approach is one way we’re ramping up our efforts to ensure students have the support they need to navigate the FAFSA process successfully.

As the Class of 2024 prepares to forge forward, let us stand united in our commitment to supporting them every step of the way. Together, we can ensure that every student in Alabama has access to the postsecondary opportunities they deserve. It is not only a moral but also an economic imperative requiring a collective response.

Chandra Scott is Executive Director of Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit organization that breaks down barriers to prosperity through advocacy, education, and collaboration. Visit www.alabamapossible.org.