Fewer students are filling out the FAFSA for college aid

RICHMOND, Va. — Fewer students are filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that is known as the FAFSA.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Friday that applications were down 8.2% nationwide. In Virginia, the drop in applications was slightly steeper at 8.7%.

The decrease in applications is even more pronounced at schools in which most of students are non-white or from low-income families.

One reason for the drop is the coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, it has disrupted many of the in-person events that schools hold to help families work through the form.

Another reason is the prospect of taking virtual college classes. Some students who aren’t excited about online classes may be holding off from filling out the FAFSA.

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