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Students Reminded To Complete The FAFSA

Twenty-five percent of Montana high school seniors have completed the FAFSA this year, a 35 percent drop from 2023

Governor Greg Gianforte is urging high school seniors in Montana to continue to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, despite issues resulting from the U.S. Department of Education’s delay in launching the 20242025 application portal.

“Each year, the FAFSA unlocks nearly $40 million in financial aid for Montana students to continue their education after high school,” Gov. Gianforte said. “While the U.S. Department of Education’s faulty rollout of the FAFSA has frustrated teachers, parents, and students alike, it’s incredibly important for students to apply. Whether students are exploring a four-year degree or career and technical education, the FAFSA can identify grants and loans to help prepare young Montanans for the next chapter of their lives.”

“The changes to the FAFSA will mean increased financial assistance and eligibility for many Montana students,” said Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian. “That is why it is more important than ever for Montana families to complete the form.” Last year, the U.S. Department of Education began working on a revised FAFSA application portal. After months of delay, the Department finally released an updated application in December, but the system has experienced numerous problems since. The issues have resulted in significant declines in student participation in the FAFSA.

According to the National College Attainment Network, only about 25 percent of Montana high school seniors have completed the FAFSA this year, a 35 percent drop from 2023. Nationally, 28 percent of high school seniors have filled out the application, a drop of nearly 40 percent compared to 2023. “If the Biden administration hadn’t been so fixated on forcing American taxpayers to bail out the student loans of doctors and lawyers, they would have been able to execute on one of their basic missions to assist those with true financial need,” Gov. Gianforte added. The delayed FAFSA rollout will not impact Montana University System aid or entrance applications. Colleges and universities are processing financial aid packages as soon as the U.S. Department of Education reviews student applications.

According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, a nonpartisan, research-based initiative, the average beneficiary of the Biden administration’s student loan bailout program earns about $313,000 in annual household income.

To learn more about the FAFSA or to fill out the form for the 2024-2025 academic year, visit

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