Increasing FAFSA Completion
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Bridging Richmond, a regional education partnership supported by institutions in the education, business, non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors, works to ensure every person in the Richmond region has a chance to thrive in school, work, and life. AXIS met and got involved with Bridging Richmond as they kicked off an effort to increase FAFSA Completion rates in the region through Rapid Cycle Change. They needed help advancing process improvement concepts and tools into participating schools.

The AXIS solution? Provide a process expert to work with schools and teams on the FAFSA project, helping them better understand how process improvement can be overlaid on the education sector. In addition to engagement and how-to support, we developed training videos to advance knowledge of the methodology and tools, enabling Bridging Richmond to continue delivering on their mission and priorities, even when AXIS’ engagement ends.

AXIS Partners brought their experience implementing improvement programs in the service sector to introduce rapid cycle change concepts to teams of school and community partners working to increase FAFSA completion.  Their knowledge and experience accelerated our ability to provide coaching, develop a toolbox, and mentor staff coordinating the project.  Their commitment to making sure capacity is in place to continue improving after the contract ends points to their desire to have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of people where they live and work.

Beth on achieving the W2:

This was a great project on so many fronts. The opportunity to work in the education sector is always rich – but with this project, we were able to work with a wonderfully broad spectrum of players – from partners like Bridging Richmond and GrASP, to district and school administrators and staff. We even got to interact with some of the students and parents. And because processes, like data, don’t discriminate, we were able to share tools and techniques that apply to ANY challenge, not just FAFSA Completion!

When you see a sparkle in someone’s eye, and they say – Wow…I need to do that on…fill in the blank…you know they get it, and now you can begin to help them find ways to adapt the tools and concepts around various scenarios. On the other side, we were able to transfer experiential knowledge to our hiring partner, Bridging Richmond, helping them mature their own processes and reinforce their foundation for continued success beyond the end of the project.

A classic example of a Win-Win (W2)!