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Alabama Taps Oracle Cloud to Help High School Grads Secure Financial Aid

State already seeing strong increase in students applying for federal financial aid with the support of Oracle Student Financial Planning

In 2021, an estimated $67.8 million in Pell Grants were left unclaimed by eligible Alabama students who did not finish the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To combat this challenge, the state has made completing the FAFSA a graduation requirement and is using Oracle Student Financial Planning (SFP) to manage the process. Already, Alabama has seen a 21.9 percent increase in FAFSA completions in April 2022 versus the same time last year — the second highest increase of any US state.2

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“Our primary goal is to ensure all students can pursue post-secondary education by obtaining needed funding,” said Dr. Jim Purcell, executive director, Alabama Commission on Higher Education. “Oracle Student Financial Planning has added an amazing level of tools for which the high school counselors and career coaches can use to keep students on track with this requirement.”

To optimize the impact of this form completion policy, the state’s systems needed extensive upgrades to ensure students receive adequate support throughout the process. After a review of available solutions, Alabama’s Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) selected Oracle Student Financial Planning.

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For each public school student in the state, Oracle Student Financial Planning uploads a report into a state database to help counselors identify which students still need to submit the FAFSA, whether students have errors or missing documentation in their application, and more, empowering counselors to offer individualized student assistance.

“We know that FAFSA completion and college enrollment are closely associated, as 92% of graduating seniors who completed the FAFSA enrolled by the following fall,” said Vivian Wong, group vice president, higher education development, Oracle.3 “With Oracle Student Financial Planning, Alabama is able to create more equitable access to postsecondary education that will fuel opportunity for more people and ultimately help shape a more diverse and skilled workforce.”

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