The MEFA InstituteTM: Learn about FAFSA Completion Reports

In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has created near real-time school and student-level FAFSA completion reports within Edwin Analytics. These live reports allow schools and districts to monitor whether seniors have completed and submitted their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which they must submit in order to apply for federal and state financial student aid for college. The Department encourages all school counselors to have access to Edwin. Join in this webinar with presenter Nyal Fuentes, College and Career Readiness Coordinator at DESE, to learn about this important tool and how it can help your school and your students. 

Download the webinar slides to follow along.


Please note that this transcript was auto-generated. We apologize for any minor errors in spelling or grammar.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Alright, well, we'll get started. I know those of you join early so you can, you can listen and then get on with your day. So welcome. My name is Julie Shields and I'm the director of college planning education and training at mifa. And this webinar is part of the Mifa Institute. Uh, hope you visit often to take advantage of all of the trainings and webinars in the Mifa Institute and, um, know that you can receive.

PDP credit for those. Um, and this morning, this is about the FAFSA and DESI. And we have a great, great presenter that many of you probably know, Niall Fuentes, who is the college and career readiness coordinator at DESI. And With that, I will turn it over to him. But let me just talk about a couple of logistics about the webinar.

Um, we are recording it. So tomorrow we will send you the recording and the slides. It will also live in the MIFA Institute. If you want to share with your colleagues for them to come and listen and learn and you can type any questions you have into the Q and A and we'll make sure to talk about those and answer those.

Um, And if you need live transcript, you can press the CC button for closed captioning, and you'll be able to see the words that are spoken across your screen, and you can even pick the language that you see them in. Alright, and with that, Niall, I'm going to turn it over to

Nyal Fuentes: you. All right. Good morning, everyone.

I see a couple friends here attending. I'd like to say, um, special attention to Bob Bardwell, the Executive Director of MASCA, who was quoted in a great article this morning, um, on GBH about FAFSA. Um, if you do get a chance to check it out, it'll probably answer a lot of questions and bring up a lot of concerns that you all have, but it's well articulated, I think should be shared with People who might not be familiar with FAFSA as, um, some of you have, as you've been trying to explain the changes and what's going on.

Um, also I see Andrea, amongst many other people I like, you can see, um, Andrea is here and she is a great expert on, um, undocumented students and finding financial resources for those students to attend college. Um, great presenter, if you get a chance to check out any of her recordings and including one for parents in Spanish.

On um, it will be very helpful. So anyway, um, that's those are my accolades and thank you for the rest of you coming here Here's today's objectives. I hope you can see this and hear me. Okay Um, we're going to talk a little bit about Uh college going data because this is what it's all about, right? We don't do FAFSA because it's a fun exercise and um in financing It's because we're really trying to have kids go to college.

I really want to look at this closely Um, mostly because I don't have a ton of news about FAFSA So I need to talk about something but to also really realize that Our college going has really gone down and particularly for historically marginalized groups. It's something we need to concentrate on and I'm including that students of color and English learners and in particular, which is a much larger group, low income students and their communities and I'll have a couple of data slides around that.

Talk about a little one slide about what is FAFSA. You wouldn't be here if you didn't know what FAFSA is, but it's obligatory. Talk about a little about past FAFSA completion and then we'll look at the FAFSA tool. From the front here, as you know, there is no data coming from U. S. Department of Education to either colleges, which is more important, and I think it's stressed in that GVH article this morning, meaning kids aren't going to be able to put together financial aid packages, families aren't going to be able to make decisions.

It is a freaking disaster. Let's put it that way. But also that those data aren't rolling into Department of Higher Education and us, so we can even get you data to see who's completed. So a lot of it is kind of like, until March. When they say the data is coming through, it's going to be old school, you know, talking to kids, making sure they're college ready, um, and, you know, getting their plans together and completing fast.

And then in March, we're gonna have to go full tilt on this tool. I'll do another training on this to get school counselors, hopefully with Bob and Naska to get the word out about the tool, um, and get more information about that. Simultaneously sometime in March, the MASFA We'll be introduced. So that's another thing that's going to be coming out.

So maybe we'll do something together around that where we start talking about for students who are undocumented and have lived in the grad are graduating from Massachusetts high schools and have been here for three years. We'll have an opportunity to access state financial aid, um, under the new tuition equity law that came up in July.

So a lot going on there. I won't get too much into that, but I think it's important to think about stuff we're gonna have to do in about a month or so. Okay. Um, as these data come in and we're really going to be rushing around to make sure kids are in spots and, um, first generation families really understand that they have the packages to get to go to school and just keep their hopes and dreams.

I think it's part of it. It's like, and again, the article is so good because it really talks about getting these kids to, you know, they're going to realize the hopes and dreams, but they're going to have to put on hold. It's going to be really stressful for the next month or two. And then again, we'll talk about the tool briefly because I think that's what you're here for.

Um, so talking about college access and I am an. Okay. Unapologetic advocate of kids going to college. I think there's lots of opportunities for students to, um, you know, after high school, if they go to a technical program or going to military, there's tons opportunities for kids who don't go to college.

But we also know in Massachusetts, we have a highly educated population. Um, I think it's like, what is it, 57 percent of people 25 to 34 have college degrees, which is way higher than most states, top two or three at least. I should have that memorized. But I really want to look at it. It's just about the money.

And again, we need plumbers, we need electricians, but most kids even going to techno schools are not becoming going into the high paying trades or going to other stuff. So again, I'm apologetic. Um, I work in an office that supports technical education. I support technical education, but for most kids, college is their best bet.

I really want to show this chart because it really shows we have, um, we have some data data around weight and wage matching. So these are 50 percentiles. This is basically the median person, um, in 2010. Okay. Looking at 11 years later and what their earnings were, and you're talking about almost a 30, 000 difference between a high school graduate and a student with a bachelor's degree.

Again, this is 50 percentile. So this is the median. We know there's highs and lows. We know there's someone who is, you know, the, you know, the poet, you know, the poetic for many, it says, well, the barista with the philosophy degree or whatever. Um, but we know in the median students, you're on average going to, you know, make a lot more money.

So it's just even about the money. I like to show this. I'd like to show this to kids. I mean, they can't imagine being 30 years old, but when they're 30, this is what it means. So, for the kid that's graduating from high school, all of a sudden, he's got a decent job making 17 dollars an hour, um, long term going to college is a bit is a good bet.

Um, we know that, um, immediate college enrollment, and these are 22 numbers. Um. DHE has some enrollment numbers are looking better for class 23. Those aren't public yet. Um, and we don't have them in our file because we get National Student Clearinghouse data and it's very delayed. But you can kind of see here, there's a crisis in college going for a lot of students and particularly looking at Latino students.

And that's kind of, you know, where my lifetime has been spent looking at that data and, um, you know, college enrollment for Latino students. You're talking about over half of students immediately enroll in college and now it's almost down to a third. That is just an enormous drop in college going, you know, partially due to covert and partially do a lot of different reasons, you know, economies, you can make you can make your own list, right?

The economy is decent. Kids can get jobs right out of high school to pay their own wages, 15 bucks, right? So it's not a family sustaining wage, but if you live in. You know, your mom's house, then it might be sustaining for you. So there's a lot of different reasons that kids. Are not going to college, but it's something that we need to we've done a pretty good job, but this is a generational drop in college going particularly for Latino students.

Similarly, between boys and girls, we have a boy problem. It's not funny, but, um, you know, you really see a huge difference in boys and girls going. So how do we concentrate On getting, um, young men to really look at college as an option again, you know, it could be in 10 years that we have a situation where, you know, women, God forbid, are making more money than men on the average state, which would be interesting because, you know, the relationship between college going and, uh.

Income. Again, just show more data here and you'll be able to look at these slides. I think these are powerful slides to look at. And I think it's also good to look at if you're working in a school district to look at your school district and see how this looks again. You could disaggregate data a million different ways.

I was in a session with a graduate class on Monday at UMass Boston talked about data like this. It's like, well, what about data EL, Latinas, you know, so you can, you know, I think part of it is looking at your student level data and trying to figure out what's going on in your district, but looking at this again, statewide, immediate 22 college going Latino males, you know, 29%, you're talking about almost a 50 percentage point difference between the highest kind of gender slash race, ethnicity group and Latinas.

So we know that there's a crisis here. We know there's the same economy for everyone out there. There isn't some secret Latino male, believe me, Latino male economy that, you know, exists out there for us to access. So really important to look at this and look at your different student groups and see what's going on.

And again, my income, and this is something I think we really need to concentrate on, particularly when we're talking about FAFSA. Um, students who are low income and I think the big news is and we'll talk, you know, hopefully this stands in the budget. I'll talk about this later is that there is more state financially than there's ever been for students.

Hopefully, that stands this new budget. This new budget is kind of, you know, it's kind of squirrelly at this point with the revenues. But looking at this chart, you're talking about huge differences between non low income. And, you know, this is this is a generational and zip code replication, right? So, you know, if you if you are a non low income female, um, like, like my daughters, um, for example, very high chance of them going to college almost.

Zero chance of them not, right? Unless something happens. Um, and then for low income males, it's very low. And again, if you bring race, ethnicity into here, for example, I talked about low income Latino male graduates in a little little text box over here. It's like, less than a quarter of those students are.

Um, college, any college, right? Community college, four year college, private, public, whatever it is, um, this slide I did yesterday, and this is one of these things that this is a Nile side. It's not done with psychometrics. I didn't do a lot of analysis. I basically lined up, um, what I call the porous quartile are the.

poorest, the percentage, the, the, the school districts with the highest percentage of low income students. I did a list of 307 districts that sent kids to college and I did it by, um, you know, the percentage of poor kids that they have. So obviously the second quartile is very large because obviously like Boston's probably in there and that type of thing.

Um, so the sizes of them are different. So statistically, this is, uh, Not completely sound. I think a lot of my people were psychometricians and other like data nerds would be like, well, you really shouldn't look at it this way, but this is so striking. That it really makes a good point. Um, if you're looking at your, you know, kind of the poorest quartile, the poorest 77.

Um, the districts with the highest percentages of low income students, you're talking about 46 percent of those students going to college. Um, and then if you're looking at the richest, um. You're talking about 81.5. So again, when it comes to fafsa, incredibly powerful. Something I would show to my school committee for you.

Wanted them to concentrate FAFSA to my school, to my superintendent, to my principal. Um, just to show you what it looks like, kind of longitudinally. Um, you know, we were close to two thirds of, um, students in that quartile going to college in 2016. So six years ago in this, in this data, I know it's actually eight years ago, but in this data six years ago, and look at the drops there compared to the, so you're talking about enormous.

You're not only you're talking, I'm talking about there were gaps with gaps are actually yawning and growing. So, it just shows that again, how important fast is going to be and I'm leading into the sale. The faster tool eventually believe me, but I have a lot of information on ads right now. So, I'm obfuscating that all the time.

But anyway, you see these gaps here between Richard board districts and know we have to concentrate. So, the summary again, y'all experts in this stuff, but media enrollment college is correlated with. Future earnings, uh, median enrollment is declining trend, both here in Massachusetts and the United States.

So hopefully last year, we got a little bounce up. Um, and, you know, again, the gaps that are going on, there's also a gap between students who score poorly on MCAS versus those who score well on MCAS, which really would kind of indicate a, um, academic achievement gap, meaning that we have students who are weaker in math.

And English language art skills that are not attending college at the same rates. But what is FAFSA? I'm, I just want you to read this, then understand it's, it's a necessary thing for kids to get financial aid, federal financial aid, and for a lot of kids, and for actually for our state, other than, um, the mask and for undocumented kids, for kids to get state aid, and for a lot of other scholarships as well.

So it's pretty much, if you're going to college and expecting any type of aid, you have to do FAFSA, right? Except if you're an undocumented student. Um, this is from Department of Higher Ed. I didn't get a real good chance to update these because this is all in flux, right? We know that there was substantial financial aid for kids, low income kids that were currently enrolled, like amazing stuff happening with almost no cost for public education for those students.

Miraculous change, generational change that could help us to kind of turn these college access rates around if we keep it up in the new budget. Um, talks a little about here, the whole process here. It's, you know, it's, um, we make sure kids need to do FAFSA against the financial aid, um, as well as their federal aid and kind of how the whole system works, which everyone here knows more about this than I do.

Bask grant plus was a huge piece for low income kids. So we're making sure eligible kids really have the chance to. Um, support themselves and go to college. So we know it started community colleges. Winter State University and finally our flagship and associated UMass campuses adopted it last year.

And Carmen, I'm going to get to you at the end if you don't mind. Um, just because this is my hardest slide I do because it's not mine. Um, again, here's some information you can go through. This is about the new, this is about the Healy, the Governor's Healy's last year's budget and passed by, and passed by the House and Senate.

Um, to really make college affordable for low income kids, especially, but also bringing in some of the middle income and middle income in Massachusetts. Is, you know, higher than his other places just because the cost of living is so high. So it's really giving families a chance to attend college. And a lot of times for, and if we're looking at it this way, and hopefully this continues, a chance for kids who would usually say, um, well, I'm going to Northern Essex and I'd love, I love, I'm a community college graduate, I love community college.

But some kids undermatch themselves because they're just like, I can't afford that. It's insane. Um, they look at the sticker price of a college and they're just like, You know, that's more than my mom earns a year. Um, so this really allows, and hopefully in the 25 budget, um, for current seniors and beyond, um, really looking at this Mass Grant Plus and making college really affordable to our students.

A little about FAFSA completion. And before I get too into this, this data actually comes from the FAFSA, excuse me, sorry, of course when I'm presenting I'm losing my voice. This data comes from the FAFSA tool. And for those of you who are familiar with the FAFSA tool, sometimes it's not a perfect match.

We can't find every kid. I'll talk about that when I talk about the tool, but it's a pretty good indicator. And again, the gaps are the same, um, you know, regardless of finding kids or not. So this is the FAFSA completion by income. I like to look at this again, because I think we need to focus on students of color and low income kids.

And you'll see here the drop that's come. We, you know, we kind of went, we went down during the, you know, the real height of covert. We went down, bounced up a little bit and then start going back down with low income kids. And again, that might be because a lot of jobs available. But generally, there's been a little bit of a drop.

And again, more for low income kids and hiring a little bit of this looking by race, ethnicity. You know, kind of seeing the same thing. And again, I want to point over here to Latino students. It's been Latino students and the big drop from a few years ago. So there's something really that we need to focus on here.

Um, with Latino kids and African American kids as well. All kids, but, um, you know, when you're already kind of on the lower part of that opportunity gap, we really need to concentrate on closing with those gaps. Similarly, I wanted to show this data in a different way. You can kind of see the same thing. It is the same chart as when we're looking at college attendance, right?

Nobody's doing FAFSA. If they're not going to college, unless the school pushes them to get towards 100 percent completion, they're just not, you know, if you're not going to college, you're not doing FAFSA. And you're seeing the same thing here. You know, only a quarter of Latino males are doing FAFSA. We know some of that population might be undocumented kids who don't do it, but largely that does not come close to making up for the gap.

Um, so this is kind of stuff we're doing. We are working with D. H. E. N. R.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Nile. Can I stop you and ask one question? That's in the group. Sure. Um, someone just asked about the statistics. Um, and are there statistics about the number of high school age students who attended to your community college? Are they included or not?

And then also, do you have any data divided, um, about who goes to state universities and private?

Nyal Fuentes: Um, so there's a bunch of different places you could find that information. Um, our success after high school dart Um, and I could probably put this and after I stop talking, I'll put it in the questions or maybe I'll just email it to you, Julie, and you can send the post.

Yeah, great. Fairfax High School DART would have that information about 2 year college going and 4 year college going. Um, there is some information on school profiles as well. The numbers of school profiles and the numbers in success after high school are a little bit different because they take a different date into account of when kids are enrolled in college because kids get recorded in National Student Clearinghouse as being recorded in different times.

Sometimes it's March, sometimes it's September, sometimes it's August. So, um, the business rules aren't exactly the same. But yes, it is in success after high school DART. It's in profiles. If you have access, if you are in a school or district and have access to Edwin Analytics, which is where our FAFSA report lives.

Edwin Analytics In fact, they live in the same neighborhood. Um, you can look at, um, the numbers by school, by ethnicity, by income, et cetera, of not only did they go to two, four year private or public, but actually what schools they went to. So if you're looking at East, if you're from East Boston High School, and you want to know how many of your students went to UMass Boston.

You can see those numbers as the actual student names there. So if you have that level of access, and if you're in Boston, Bob is somewhere in there crunching a towel in his teeth, you may not have access to the student level information, but someone should, and you should if you're a school counselor.

I'll keep saying that until I drop dead. So yeah, there's tons of places to get that information, both in the public and kind of in, in the data warehouse on student levels. And I'll, I'll send that to Julie after this, so she can get you that. Thanks so much. Um, so, yeah, so we have a partnership with, um, executive office and DHE.

Um, you might have seen billboards last year. You'll see my background that says you're worth it. Um, partnering with MIFA as well, um, and school council association gear up and all sorts of different people to get the word out about this. Um, some partnerships with USPIRE, some of your districts might be working with USPIRE on the, on the tax, on state tax, where's DIME?

Others of you have individual contracts with them. We, you know, we kind of have a limited amount of funding to put there, but we wanted to target some of the districts that lower fast completion rate. And of course, kind of what we'll be doing a little bit now, but more in the future about how to use our data warehouse to identify those skips.

So that's kind of what we've been working on. Um, we know this window opened January 1st. Everyone, you know, again, is pretty familiar with this. I read in Bob's article this morning, a 35, was it 35 million, 3. 5 million kids? I don't even know what the number was. Millions of kids are completed FAFSA. And adults, um, none of that information is flowing, even though the window is open, none of it's flowing to colleges.

So there's no packages being put together. And we are not getting this, what's called it, it's called, sir, is that Julie? People laughed at me because I. Spelled it out the other day.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Data. Oh yeah, ICERS,

Nyal Fuentes: yeah. Lebo's still laughing at me, but I'm used to it at this point. Um, they're not flowing to colleges or us until early March.

I don't know how that data's coming out. They've given us no indication if it's coming out in batches or all at the same time. But believe me, as soon as we get it, we're going to put it in a FAFSA tool. Um, talk to our IT people yesterday to make sure they're prepared for that. Um, so as soon as we get the information, you will get the information.

With that being said, oops. Talk a little about what the actual what you actually came here for today and next, you know, a few minutes. Um, what is the Edwin FASTA tool? Um, they're now available for districts so you can see district, you can see data from the past. This might be a good time if you don't have access to Edwin, and you're in a school or district that you go and make sure you have Edwin, access to Edwin.

If you don't have student level access, you will only be able to see what's called the CR 307 report, which is a summary for your districts, and if you have multiple high schools, multiple high schools here, it will give you an indicator of a summary of how many kids have, I'll go over this in a second, have completed FAFSA and how many kids are what we call not found, meaning that we have no record of them completing FAFSA.

The CR 607 report is a student level report and that's where you're able to see You know, Juan Gonzalez and Ruben Sierra, and whether they completed FAFSA. And if they haven't, tracking those kids out and making, you know, getting out to a school counselor, getting in touch and say, hey, Ruben, you haven't completed FAFSA.

And I'll name other Texas Rangers as we go along. Sorry. So, we take FAFSA data from USED, from the Department of Education, comes to the Department of Higher Education. And we match this to data that's submitted by districts through SIMS. So every one of your districts puts a list of kids up and we do what's called a SACID match, but we don't have SACID, so USAID doesn't have SACID, they have social security numbers, and I'll talk about this in a second, and we have SACID.

So we have to do this algorithm that matches a first name, last name, date of birth, gender, which has become even more important. Complicated to, um, get that information. Correct. Ensure the student has completed fast. I'm gonna go over that in a 2nd. It's dynamic. Um, it's been getting a point that's updated 2 or 3 times weekly.

It runs about a week behind. Kids actually some families actually submitting faster and there's this link is a pretty good link to kind of my description. Our description of what the tool does and what it is. I think this is tool is sometimes helpful. Someone doesn't want to give you access. Like, why do you need to see student level to access?

Again, if you're a school counselor, why the hell wouldn't you know everything about these kids, you know, knowing their MCAT scores is not going to kill anybody, um, To really know how to tool and advocate for yourself for access. So now is the time to get access to Edwin. Edwin looks like this. If you haven't used it before, um, you sign into the account, you have to verify your identity.

They send you a two factor, um, Um, authentication and then you get into a list of different things and click on Edwin analytics. So this is security portal. Um, and that's how I get in the question from Diane. You can't see current data because it's not it has not been sent by, you know, for, um. Us Department of education and neither of colleges so all this information that kids have sent.

We don't have because U. S. C. D. hasn't sent it and won't send it to March. Really encourage you to look at read that article. We'll send a link to that as well in G. B. H. because it gives you an idea of how, um, I don't know, a school counselor. I'm trying to how frustrating it is that we don't have this information.

Um, yet, so now it's still, we're still back to where we were 5 years ago, asking kids to do this. Did you do this until we get that information from you? Sorry, U. S. Department of Education. So this is how you get in Edwin. Edwin is our security portal. Again, all sorts of different information, not just FASTA tools.

There's the college reports. There's usually MCAS reports that a lot of people use. Um, early warning indicator system that I also work closely with around using early warning data and all sorts of things. Um, this is what the Edwin page looks like. Um, you're going to click on these different groups. You can, this stuff is me in high school and beyond.

Um, and usually you can see all sorts of different, you can also just use a search box and you put FAFSA and you'll find it. But if you really want to learn about all the different stuff that's in there, you can really dive into the Edwin homepage. Um, and when you go into Edwin, really important, got to hit the screen button.

This is the new thing. We did this data migration, which was not fun. Into these new tools. So it's very important to look at this and go, why isn't my data coming up? You have to hit the screen button. This is so important. I actually made a whole slide about it. So, um. So, it's really important to get that so you can see your data.

Um, when you're in Edwin, again, there's 2 different boards. There's a district school view. That's what you all be able to see. If you have student level access, you are going to be able to. Go to the 6 or 7 report, which is the most important part. Um, it's like the award year. This is a lie. It will actually be 2425.

I apologize for not changing that. Um, because they they don't use this year. They use what the award year is and for D. H. E. and for U. S. C. D. U. S. University University University United States Department of Education. They use when the kids are actually going to college, a kid is shown as the file either as submitted, which means they actually completed the FAFSA hit submit and it's gone into the system or not found.

Um, also within submitted, um, it says complete or not incomplete. A lot of times kids will have done something like, hey, there's no signature, you're missing this, and it just gives an indication of you need to go back and fix this and change this. Again, this doesn't exist right now, um, because we don't have the information.

This is kind of what it looks like, um, this is Abby Kelly, this is first the alphabet. This is accurate, it will be 24, 25. This is what a summary report looks at. It's going to give you a state and percentage and that type of thing. And it's going to look at your district, right? And this is probably the high level information.

That a superintendent or principal might want to see your school committee. Now, what percentage of your kids have gone as completed. Um, if you have multiple high schools to be listed on below, and there'll be a blue link that you can click on. So you can just look at that. This is a student level report.

This is the most important piece that you'll see. Um, the beauty of the student level report is that you can download it to Excel. So, if everyone doesn't have access to Edwin, you might have 1 person who goes in if you're a smaller school and says, all right, I download this to Excel. Here's all the kids who haven't completed go chase these kids down and this is where a lot of times school counselors get to, you know, they get their highlighter out.

They get their markers out. They circle the kids. They try to find them. I'm looking across the top here. There's also information I redacted. Um, around the high school name, district name, name, SASA, and that type of thing, a date of birth, gender, all this information is really here. So, you, and this is how I calculate information, or I can go into it and see, like, do we have opportunity gaps for kids completing SASA?

And if we have groups, like, let's say you have a group of, um, some Latino college mentor program that you might be like, okay, we want, we need to go chase all our Latino boys that have not. Completed FAFSA. So it gives you a really good chance to filter out and do all sorts of, you know, internal analysis to do this completion.

You also see that I'll go on just a 2nd, the date they completed FAFSA. Um, the date they submitted FAFSA, I mean, did yes or no, did they submit? That's a good thing to filter on and what the status is and sometimes some detail. Like, so we'll say if it isn't complete. That's missing a signature, missing information, that type of thing.

So this can be really helpful as you move along. So this is the, I think this is the most important thing to really focus on when these report comes out, um, because you can look at the kind of scoreboard data that shows you here's the percentage we're doing, but it's really important to figure out who hasn't been really chasing those kids down.

So there's some kids who might apply to college, don't even know what FAFSA is. And there's a lot of different reasons kids don't complete FAFSA. Sometimes, you know, dad's like, I'm not sharing my information with big government. Uh, or whatever it is, or they're undocumented, et cetera, or, you know, it's nobody's business how much money they make.

Um, but this gives you an idea of how to chase these students down. One of the issues we've been having is, um, student, student, when we can't do a match. So what we do is, again, we take this information from U. S. Department of Education, which has a social security number, name, date of birth, et cetera. And then we do not, and we will never have in our state files, social security numbers of students.

So we can't do a perfect match based on that kind of, um, what we would usually do is using the same type of variable that is exactly the right. So we have to run an algorithm that matches names. And sometimes, and dates of birth and gender, and sometimes it gets confusing. Um, there's a lot of different reasons that sometimes kids are using a different name in Sims than, um, like it might be Lizzie instead of Lisa or something like that in Sims versus in, um, What they did for FAFSA.

A lot of times it's because of Latino naming conventions. So if you are using the paternal, you know, and maternal last names for one of the documents, they're not matching very well. Um, the algorithm does pretty well. People always say, well, we have a ton of kids and it ends up being like 2 or 3 kids that they don't match.

Um, so this is what, you know, this is the only way we can actually run the data, but, um, it's, it's, it's, um, it's really important to think about, you know, tracking down your kids. The beauty of this is even if the kids aren't matched and that's what's going to show up in that first part. In the next part, there's what we call unmatched data.

It's important to go there too, because a lot of times, um, if a student says they went to your high school, we're going to capture that data in unmatched students. There's a little noise in there because sometimes those students say they went to their schools, um, and they really didn't. Um, or it's the last school they went to before they went to private school.

So there's a, in that unmatched list, you're going to find a lot of your kids. You're going to find some kid, some guy who's 35. I think we might have changed the age stuff and did go to, um, Acibit, but it just happens that they put that on the high school. So there's an unmatched list as well, which can be very important.

Again. The scoreboard data is going to come out, you know, what you're, you know, summary data is going to come out of those math kids important to look at the unmatched file as well to try to find those kids that we haven't matched. And again, I always suggest putting this in Excel. It's just much easier to read and and make your problems smaller than it is, or your challenges smaller than it is.

Because once you kind of sort through it and go through it's like, I know this kid's not going to do it. I know this kid isn't. Then you get down to, you know, you go down from 500 down to, you know, 75 students that I need to concentrate on these kids. Um, and sometimes, you know, now we know that there's kids that aren't making college plans till May.

And for a lot of those students, you're going to be chasing these kids down through June. And I know in the case of some of my friends chasing him down all summer. As they try to find some school counselor who happens to be working in some basement somewhere, um, to help them to get their stuff together.

Um, so I call this the Alex said they did FAFSA. Don't go and hit a kid over the head with a 2x4 because he said, he says right here, you did. Sometimes they did. Um, usually I'm trusting data, but sometimes the data is wrong. Um, I'm going to take some questions. I'll start with, um, with Betz. I apologize. I pronounced your name wrong.

It is the same with Clearinghouse. Um, and there's no, I don't know how you fix it. I mean, you do the algorithm the best you can. Um, there's no way of doing a case by case basis when you have You know, 70, 000 high school graduates, 70, 000 high school seniors going by the list and figuring it out because then you're likely get it wrong.

So, um, it mostly matches. Um, I would guess it's probably like 97%. Um, people always say, like, 50 percent didn't match. And then when you go through it, you're like, well, he did. And we did some stuff with Worcester and I'm from Worcester here looking a lot of kids and we figured out what happened. I mean, you could kind of go through.

And in most cases, it was, you know, Latino naming convention. Names spelled wrong. Names that are completely different, um, than the student had in, you know, and there's a lot of different reasons. It largely falls in students who are newer immigrant students and, um, Latino students and people who use the European Convention of dates.

So if your birthday was, uh, November, um, seventh, I don't even know how old are seniors now? 2004. Geez. How old are kids now? Um, you know, they might put, put, you know, in the states you're using 11 seven. If you're from France, you're doing 7 11 and that's screwing the matching algorithm all together. So I think it's in this particular purpose, it's, it's good because you have student level data and you have unmatched data so you can actually do the work to find those kids.

Um, so that's what I got today. I'm happy to take any, any questions either in the chat, in the chat, I guess, about what's going on.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Yeah, we have a nice, just a, I'll Small ish group, but small enough that yeah, open, open up any conversation that we want to have about any of these things would be great.

Nyal Fuentes: I get paid in either way, Julie.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: That's right. That's right. And I'll just say this Nile. Um, you know, the whole your whole presentation is so much good information. Um, so. Please do share it with your colleagues. Um, I think it's a lot of information in a relatively short period of time that I think is important for people to, uh, to hear.

And then of course, to understand how to use the tool is so great too.

Nyal Fuentes: Yeah. And, and Bob, we'll, we'll do this again, hopefully in early March, we'll schedule something, um, with MASCA, sorry, Bob Bardwell, um, with Massachusetts School Council Association. And actually, you know, really, cause I know you're ready to jump in.

It's frustrating right now. And Believe me, I was like, Julie, are we really going to do this? I, you know, people are just going to yell at me. Um, and it really isn't my fault this time, um, that FAFSA data isn't available. All right. Thanks, Bob.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: I guess the last thing I'll just say so that those of you on the line will know MIFA is holding a webinar for counselors, just about all of the FAFSA issues.

And, um, you know, some tips and tricks of what we're learning of, you know, helping students and making sure they Answer this question right or that question or don't so we're learning a lot to help students get through. And so definitely come back into the institute and find the date for that. I think it's I think it's February 15th, but I'm not 100 percent sure.

And, um, join that if you if you if you want to just talk with colleagues and talk about how we're getting better and better at advising students on getting through this this process.

Nyal Fuentes: And I do have to say, not just because I like Julie and I think she is a jewel in the college affordability crown, um, is that MIFA is doing some great, um, that some of their events that are taped are, are, I don't call it taped anymore, um, recorded are very good and, um, great information and we take information from, um, MIFA and we try to distribute it, uh, to folks in the field as well.


Julie Shields-Rutyna: you, Niall. And that is February 4th, 15th, and the same time, 830 to 930. So, thank you. And there is a question, um, okay, this is a good, good question, but I did a NEACAC webinar Monday, and while it initially sounded good that some colleges were delaying their deposit deadlines, we were reminded that the bills will still go out at the same time.

Bills still do at same time. But I guess what I would say is that Every day we're seeing colleges make a decision in the direction of flexibility. So I know I'm always wearing the rose colored glasses, but I am going to believe that, that, that we will see more of that. And so, um, and we're in, you know, all, all of us are.

Um, and so I'm going to be asking that of our colleagues, and I know the college folks I know understand. I mean, their, their work has been turned upside down, too. So I'm going to hope for that.

Nyal Fuentes: I mean, yeah, I mean, I guess if I can make a, um, just a random comment. This sucks, particularly for first generation low income families.

It's like, whose hopes and dreams and again I think the GBH article is great in capturing this, and I just, I don't even know how to talk to people about it. I'm hoping that from our department of higher ed colleagues, we get a very general. Comprehensive across the 28 campuses answer. Around what this is going to look like as far as deadlines and that type of thing, but we'll still keep pushing to get that answer out to you.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: No, Nyland. Thank you for that. Yeah, that you know what? It's true. We, we do have to admit that it's very, very, very hard to be working with students these days who are at a standstill and

all right. Thanks

Nyal Fuentes: for having me today. I hope it was helpful. Um, I will send the information about where to find data about college going to Julie. I'm just saying that to remind myself right now. And, um, and I guess you can get out to the folks who attended or registered at least.

Julie Shields-Rutyna: Thank you so much, Niall.

Terrific, and thank you to everyone, and enjoy your days.

Nyal Fuentes: Thank you.

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