October begins busy pre-college season for high school seniors

Brittany Francis, Ph.D.
Public Information and Communications Director 
(225) 219-3306 Office

Tyana Daquano
Public Information Officer
(225) 342-5173 Office

Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) 

October begins busy pre-college season for high school seniors

Baton Rouge – High school seniors are embarking on a busy season as they prepare for postsecondary education. Completing college applications, applying for financial aid, and testing for the ACT or SAT are all on the checklist. Whether a student’s path leads them to enroll in a two- or four-year college or university, to earn a certification or credential, or join the military, senior year is a critical time in the process toward college/career match and fit. 

Governor John Bel Edwardsproclaimed October as Louisiana College Application and Access Month (LCAAM). LCAAM, sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) and Louisiana GEAR UP (LGU) since 2013, is designed to assist high school seniors navigate the college admissions process and ensure that participating students submit at least one college application. Research shows that students who apply to two colleges instead of one are 40 percent more likely to enroll in college. 

“LCAAM helps to alleviate students’ worries about life after high school by providing assistance and resources as they navigate the required tasks,” said Louisiana’s LCAAM Coordinator, Kayla Gros. “Our events allow them time to complete college applications, ask questions, and build confidence in finding their perfect match and fit.” 

Gros added counselors who register for an LCAAM event also receive access to resources to continue college-going conversations.  

“We developed college commitment and attainment resources including a series of interactive videos on our website to help students navigate how to accept admissions offers and transition to their first year on campus,” Gros said. 

Following college applications, seniors will be encouraged to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1, 2022. The FAFSA, available beginning October 1, is a one-stop-shop for federal, state, and institutional aid such as TOPS, TOPS Tech, and the GO Grant. Students who do not complete the FAFSA could miss out on free money – gift aid or financial aid that does not have to be paid back. Early completion of the FAFSA, on or before February 1st, ensures that students maximize opportunities to receive aid.  

“Equity of access and affordability in education means that all students have the opportunity to afford a college education, without finances being a roadblock,” said LOSFA’s Executive Director, Dr. Sujuan Boutte. “Completing a FAFSA allows a student to maximize their use of free money and reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.”  

Boutte added another benefit of early FAFSA completion is students potentially receiving their college award letters sooner to know how much aid they will qualify for. This allows students to compare colleges and better understand which institution may be their best fit. 

LOSFA also assists schools around the state with FAFSA Completion events. Students should check with their counselor to learn when their school will host a FAFSA Completion Night.  “We know our families can submit the FAFSA on their own, but we want to make sure they complete it,” said the Executive Director for School Leadership in East Baton Rouge Parish, Larry James.  

For the first time, James says the East Baton Rouge Parish School System will conduct a district-wide FAFSA Completion event. On Wednesday, October 6, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., representatives from LOSFA and other post-secondary institutions will assist students and parents with the FAFSA at each high school in East Baton Rouge Parish.  

“This is about closing the achievement gap,” James said. “Some of our schools will have other FAFSA completion opportunities, but this one night we want to come together as a team with one message. We want our students to be able to get to college and afford it. If we want them to make it to the next step, we have to stick together.” 

For assistance completing the FAFSA, students and parents can text the word ‘LOSFA’ to 50065 for help, use the #GeauxFAFSA hashtag on social media, email, or sign up for a virtual office hour session by visiting