Incentives offered to schools for FAFSA completion

Staff Writer

    The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s Big Goal Collaborative is partnering with NIPSCO to launch a regional Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion competition for regional high schools. The competition runs through March 10.
    The goal of the competition is to increase the amount of high school students completing the FAFSA. Filling out the FAFSA, a government form that streamlines the college financial aid process, is a must to qualify for assistance and reduce student loan burden.
    Three winning high schools will each be given a $1,500 scholarship to award to a graduating senior. There are three categories to win:
    • Greatest overall growth – the school that experiences the highest growth in FAFSA submissions over the previous year.
    • Growth of 5 percent or more – all schools that experience 5 percent or more growth over the previous year will be entered in a drawing for the scholarship.
    • Completion rate of 75 percent or more - all schools that have a FAFSA completion rate of 75 percent or more growth year will be entered in a drawing for the scholarship.
    Schools that satisfy more than one will be entered into the category that gives them the best chance of winning. Winners will be announced mid-April.
    “At NIPSCO, we’re committed to education and we understand to reach the Big Goal we have to do more. Increasing educational attainment has the potential to increase wages, raise overall economic wealth, meet the needs of existing businesses and create more jobs,” said Dana Berkes, public affairs manager at NIPSCO.
    The Big Goal is one of seven priorities identified by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s Vision 2020 program. It aims to increase the percentage of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
    “To become a global competitor and transform our economy, Northeast Indiana must work together to reach the Big Goal. Our region must have an educated workforce with the skills needed by our employers,” said Joshua Wenning, executive director of Region 8 Education Service Center.
    To learn more about the Big Goal Collaborative, visit