First Round of FAFSA 21 Funding Announced

COLUMBUS, Ohio (2021-04-08) — 

Funding awards totaling nearly $1 million have been announced as part of a state initiative to increase the number of students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced the awards today as part of their recently launched FAFSA 21 initiative. Awards totaling $966,772 will be shared among 23 recipients, including college access groups, educational service centers, and colleges and universities. The awards are part of $2.85 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding that will be invested for FAFSA completion projects over the next year and a half. These funds will be used to support direct intervention, data system upgrades, and professional development.

“With FAFSA completion rates declining in Ohio and across the country, the FAFSA 21 initiative is a way to get aid that would otherwise go unclaimed to students hoping to pursue postsecondary education,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “We hope these awards are a big step toward helping Ohio’s students achieve their goals.”

“Completing the FAFSA provides students with the information they need to plan and prepare for their future,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria. “Understanding and taking advantage of available financial aid can be a determining factor in whether students are able to continue their education beyond high school. I’m very proud of the partnerships that have formed around the common goal of increasing FAFSA completion and giving students the information they need to plan for post-high school success.”

Applications for FAFSA 21 funding awards are still being accepted, and future awards will be made on a rolling basis. For more information on the FAFSA 21 initiative, visit

About the Ohio Department of Higher Education

The Ohio Department of Higher Education is a Cabinet-level agency for the Governor of the State of Ohio that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.


About the Ohio Department of Education

The Ohio Department of Education is a diverse team of passionate, education-focused professionals dedicated to fulfilling the vision established in Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s strategic plan for education. The vision is, “In Ohio, each child is challenged to discover and learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society.” Ensuring this vision for each of Ohio’s 1.7 million students, in partnership with more than 240,000 educators across the state, is no small feat. Under the leadership of the superintendent of public instruction and governed by the State Board of Education, Department team members, in collaboration with a wide range of partners, are sharply focused on helping schools and districts continually improve to be the best they can be for each child. Equity and impact are core to every program, service and action. The Department’s work is well regarded both in Ohio and nationally for its innovative, leading-edge and forward-looking approach. When the Department succeeds, students succeed, communities succeed and Ohio succeeds.

Contact Information: 

Ohio Department of Higher Education Contact:
Jeff Robinson
Office: 614.752.9487


Ohio Department of Education Contact:
Mandy Minick
Office: 614.728.5959