“In order for Arizona to move forward as a state, we must get groups to work together on initiatives like the Arizona FAFSA Challenge,” said Dawn Wallace, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Education and Strategic Initiatives.
“Educational attainment is imperative to the future economic viability and prosperity of our state, and we will not be able to reach 60 percent without collaboration, ” Wallace said.
The Arizona FAFSA Challenge was created earlier this year by the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, and is supported by the Arizona Governor’s Office of Education, Achieve60AZ, College Success Arizona, the AZ College Access Network, Helios Education Foundation, and many others.
It sets the goal that 50 percent of Arizona’s high school seniors would complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by the end of the 2018-19 academic year.
FAFSA completion is important to attainment because it is closely correlated with subsequent application and enrollment in postsecondary education.
The state FAFSA completion level as it stands, is just under halfway to the goal, at 24 percent.
“We are excited to see the steps being taken by advocates throughout Arizona to increase attainment, like through the Arizona FAFSA Challenge,” said Rachel Yanof, Executive Director of Achieve60AZ. “Groups have truly made this goal their own, and we hope that Achieve60AZ continues to be a catalyst for change in our state.”
Achieve60AZ, a grassroots alliance dedicated to increasing the percentage of adults in Arizona with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 60 percent by 2030, released its first Issue Brief in October to provide further details around the what the organization considers are the State Attainment Pillars.
The remainder of Achieve60AZ’s Issue Brief series will be published throughout 2019, following the release of the organization’s first State of Attainment report in the first quarter of 2019.
The Issue Brief can be found at bit.ly/IssueBriefDecember2018
More than 70 organizations in Arizona form Achieve60AZ that is fueled by a community-based effort to ensure Arizona remains competitive through the power of education.
Their collective goal is to generate greater awareness of the importance of increasing Arizona’s level of educational attainment while building support to improve college entry and completion; boost adult education and training; and fuel a pipeline of competitive talent for Arizona’s employers.
Achieve60AZ promotes support for the long-term steps needed in college entry and completion, adult education and training, and identifying and closing skills gaps to better prepare our workforce and our state for the future when the majority of jobs in Arizona will require some type of higher education.
For more information, visit: www.achieve60az.com.