Mountain Heritage High School

Innovative Practices 2021 Grant Winner

Mountain Heritage High School (Yancey County Schools) established a school culture with the expectation that each student completes the FAFSA no matter what their plans are after high school and regardless of race, language, first generation status, or GPA.

As of August 13, 2021

Mountain Heritage High School’s

strategies and efforts earned the school a FAFSA completion rate of


1% increase

compared to 2019

Key Strategies

Early and Often

  • Engaged students early and often to encourage them to complete the FAFSA
  • Juniors were prompted to create their Federal Student AID IDs in preparation for the FAFSA
  • Seniors also received FAFSA information in the fall, along with support as a group.

Targeted Support

  • Seniors who struggled to complete the FAFSA received targeted support from counselors.
  • Counselors scheduled 1-on-1 appointments, visited classrooms, printed articles in the paper, and hosted pizza parties as incentives.

Community Partners

  • Partnered with Mayland Community College and its welding program to encourage interested students.
  • Engaged Spanish-speaking professionals from CFNC, AB Tech Community College, and UNC Asheville

Multiple Ways to Complete

  • Offered multiple means for students and families to get their FAFSAs done, including:
    • a FAFSA night,
    • face-to-face individual appointments,
    • or by sending their information to school with their student.