images of parents with their children
April 26, 2019
Dear Parents,

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently launched a new online tool to track completion rates for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submissions. This New York State FAFSA Tracker will provide schools and districts with information and valuable insight to help students with completing and filing the FAFSA form. The FAFSA Tracker allows users to view the overall number of completed applications for high schools across the state and compare them with their peers. Users are also able to view application progress trends year-to-year or review weekly, monthly, and year-to-date rankings of schools.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, FAFSA completion is a critical indicator of postsecondary enrollment. Data suggests that 90 percent of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA attend college directly from high school, compared to just 55 percent of FAFSA non-completers. Additionally, research shows that in 2018 alone, New York students lost out on more than $152 million in college aid by not submitting the FASFA.

At a time when higher education is becoming increasingly essential, we want to make sure that as many students as possible have access to financial aid and have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed now and in the future. The FAFSA Tracker website is a free service provided by Data Insight Partners in support of the advancement of students in New York. I thank the team at Data Insight Partners for creating this valuable tool and bringing it to New York students and schools.

Commissioner Elia meets Co-op Tech students and staff at the State Education Building in Albany
Commissioner Elia meets Co-op Tech students and staff
This week, I was privileged to meet students and staff from New York City's School of Cooperative Technical Education (Co-op Tech). The students stopped for a tour of the historic State Education Building here in Albany. They were on their way to the New York State SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Championships at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. I was honored to talk to these talented students, and I hope all the New York State SkillsUSA participants enjoyed competing this week!

Finally, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for tips, resources, activities, and events highlighting daily themes, including "Math Monday," "Trivia Tuesday," "Wellness Wednesday," "Throwback Thursday," and "Weekend Reading." In addition to these daily themes, NYSED regularly participates in education-related social media awareness campaigns. In May, these campaigns will include Children's Mental Health Awareness Week and Day, Mental Health Month, Children's Book Week, Teacher Appreciation Week, National School Principals Day, and Museum Week. Follow us for tips, resources, and our latest news. 

Please be sure to sign up for our parent email list to have these updates delivered directly to your inbox, and encourage other parents to do the same. I will be in touch again soon.
MaryEllen Elia