News Releases

Estimates show WA ranks near the bottom of all states when it comes to FAFSA completion, missing out on up to $50 million in federal grants for eligible high school seniors 

As the Top Democrat on the Senate education committee and once a recipient of financial aid herself, Senator Murray is raising awareness about resources that could help more Washingtonians earn a college degree

New tools rolled out this year, including a mobile app (available on Apple and Android), make FAFSA applications easier than ever before 

In new Medium post, Senator Murray lays out information to will help schools and organizations get out the message 

Senator Murray: “As a recipient of financial aid myself, I know the difference those resources can make, and I’m committed to helping families in our state get the same kind of opportunities my siblings and I received”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, joined the call for students and families across Washington state to take advantage of the season for filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which started October 1st and runs through June 30, 2019, for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents; or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) for undocumented students. Data show that Washington state ranked 48th of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in FAFSA completion among high school seniors last year. Additionally, estimates from NerdWallet show that nearly 13,000 Washington state high school seniors who were Pell Grant eligible could have received up to $50 million in grants to attend college. In a new Medium post, Senator Murray posted information and helpful links about how to complete a FAFSA or WASFA to help students avoid leaving money on the table. She encourages anyone who interacts with students or potential students to share the Medium post to help ensure more Washingtonians are getting the information they need to apply for financial aid.

“I am fighting as hard as I can to make sure that our government is investing in students and higher education—and I want more Washington state students and parents to access the support already  available to them once they complete their FAFSA or WASFA,” Senator Patty Murray said. “Higher education is critical not only to our nation’s long-term economic success, but also to our efforts to make sure every young person has the opportunity to learn and thrive. It’s clear there are still plenty of barriers in place, especially for first generation students or underserved communities where information and support may be hard to find. As a recipient of financial aid myself, I know the difference those resources can make, and I’m committed to helping families in our state get the same kind of opportunities my siblings and I received.”

In her role on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Murray has been a leading proponent of efforts to simplify FAFSA, particularly for low-income and underrepresented students and their families. She will continue to push FAFSA simplification as part of the Higher Education Act reauthorization bill, along with measures to address the four areas: skyrocketing costs of college; college accountability and student success; barriers for working families, students of color, and first generation students to attend college; and threats to a safe learning environment.

Read Senator Murray’s Medium post here.