A growing number of Louisiana's high school seniors are applying for federal aid to help cover college costs, a boom in applications pushed by state officials.
The education department says 65 percent of high school seniors, nearly 27,000 students, submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by a July 1 deadline, up from 58 percent a year earlier.
The Advocate reports the figure is an all-time high in a state whose application submissions had trailed the rest of the nation.
State leaders have been urging students to apply for the aid amid concerns students were leaving money on the table. Available aid includes Pell grants and federal student loans.
Students next year will be required to file applications, or sign a form that says they will not do so.
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