Extrapolating FAFSA Completion

Explaining more of my forecasts on completion and enrollment drop

Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Sign up, and get your own copy of the news that matters sent to your inbox every week. Sign up for the On EdTech newsletter. Interested in additional analysis? Try with our 30-day free trial and Upgrade to the On EdTech+ newsletter.

In Sunday’s ETCH newsletter from Matthew Tower (fyi - it’s a great weekly read if you have not already subscribed):

Phil Hill becomes the first industry analyst or publication I’ve seen estimate the enrollment impact of the new FAFSA rollout. Phil forecasts an enrollment drop of 5-10%, which would be a more substantial drop in enrollments than was triggered by COVID (and without a federal stimulus package to backstop university revenue declines).

The basis of this prediction was the post FAFSA Fiasco Die Is Cast and data extrapolation on completion data from NCAN’s FAFSA Tracker.

To get my estimate, I have taken these trends and extrapolated the curve to show it leveling out near the 10% level. I believe it is too late to avoid this leveling off.

I thought it might be useful to share a little more why I think (best case) the final FAFSA completion drop is 10%. Let’s start with the current data as of June 7th.

I think that Everett Rogers’ work in Diffusion of Innovations is still the best description of how changes diffuse across social groups, and one his core insights is that these adoptions tend to follow a sigmoid curve (aka the S-curve).

Subscribe to On EdTech+ to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of On EdTech+ to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In

A subscription gets you:
New content 3-4 times per week
Shared Q&A discussions
More coming soon