NerdWallet: The class of 2018 missed out on $2.6 billion in free money this year

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.

High school graduates who didn’t complete a federal financial aid application missed their opportunity for part of $2.6 billion in free money for college, according to NerdWallet’s annual analysis of federal financial aid data.

The money went unclaimed by 661,000 members of the Class of 2018 who were eligible for a federal Pell Grant but didn’t complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The application is key to getting money for college including work-study, federal loans and aid from states and schools.

The average Pell Grant was $3,908 for the 2018-19 school year, NerdWallet found.

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