After publishing a recent blog on HS FAFSA filing rates in Washington State, Associate Director of Financial Aid at The University of Missouri Justin Chase Brown (@jstnchsbrwn) asked if I could put together something similar for a collection of states in the Midwest. Like the Washington data, this is an imperfect snapshot because we have only been given access to one spring snapshot on 4/11 (a time point of varying value depending on the filing deadline of the state/institution), but it gives a sense a good sense of how much variation there is between timing of filing by state (compare Minnesota to Indiana) and then between high schools within states.
As I suggested in the original post (which also provides some context on why this issue is so important), there would seem to be real untapped potential here for post-secondary institutions to look more closely at the high schools in the regions they serve in order to target support services- it’s just that the data in its original form (one-per-state excel spreadsheets) isn’t very user friendly for those purposes. Remember, these are the percentage of students who complete their FAFSA filing for the 2013-14 school year by April 11 2013 of those who at least submit by December 2013. These are students who either are attending or taking the major proactive step to attend higher education, and many of these students will qualify for need-based aid from their states and institutions if they meet a filing deadline. Colleges committed to access should be asking what they can do to ensure these students file early enough.