Roughly three months into the financial aid application cycle, the number of Wisconsin high school seniors who have completed the FAFSA is down 13% from the same time last year, according to U.S. Education Department data analyzed by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), a nonprofit trying to close equity gaps in higher education.
The decline is even worse at schools that serve a large number of low-income students and students of color.
The Madison School District moved its outreach online and by phone, said Mindy Willard, the district’s school counseling coordinator.
Counselors created “senior launchpads” on their websites, where students could access how-to videos, informational links and a checklist of tasks to be completed before graduation. The district also has regular social media blasts and a monthly newsletter with reminders that mention the FAFSA.
“Kids typically have access to their counselor down the hall,” Willard said. “Being virtual just adds another layer. (Counselors) are still accessible but not as accessible as ‘let me just walk into their office.’”
In normal years, the district’s FAFSA completion rate has been 45 to 50%, she said.
NCAN data shows the districtwide completion rate is down about 6% from this time last year.
Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled
Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).
Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:
which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.
While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state.
The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.
The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.
“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”
Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.
All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.
Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.
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