The Arizona College Application Campaign, a statewide effort with the goal of ensuring every high school senior completes at least one college application, launches in November at 45 high schools across the state.
The campaign, organized by the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education aims to build a college-going community, one high school and one student at a time.
The Commission relies heavily on its partnerships with Arizona’s universities, colleges and community colleges to achieve this goal.
This year, 45 high schools representing more than 14,500 seniors are participating in the Arizona College Application Campaign.
“We are thrilled that we have grown so fast in just two years, but there is a lot of work to be done to ensure that our high school seniors receive the encouragement and resources they need to consider higher education an option for the future,” said Dr. April L. Osborn, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. “We have great partners in the counselors and principals, and together we seek to make the college application and admissions process less daunting for our students.”
A special focus of the campaign is placed on students who would be the first in their families to attend college, those who are low-income and others who believe college is unachievable or unnecessary. Eighty percent of the participating high schools are considered low-income, or Title 1.
“This kept me focused on college,” said Colby Brooks, a freshman at Arizona State University who graduated from Winslow High School last year. “My acceptance letter gave me the courage to apply for admission to additional colleges and served as a reminder to get busy on applying for scholarships. I would have missed out on scholarships that I now am enjoying. The Arizona College Application Campaign gave me the drive to apply for college early, in spite of roadblocks and excuses.”
The Arizona College Application Campaign is part of a nationwide program. More than 250,000 applications were filed in 39 states last year. All 50 states are expected to participate this year.
Arizona has some of the lowest college-going and college-attainment rates in the country, with about 54 percent of seniors going onto college and only 26 percent of Arizonans over 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
“We need to improve those statistics,” Osborn said. “The fiscal case for attending college is clear: Unemployment rates are cut in half and college graduates earn, on average, 80 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.”
During the school day in November, participating high schools set aside time with a computer, internet access, and adult assistance for all seniors to complete applications.
Each high school selects the times/days that fit the needs of the students and school.
For a complete listing of Arizona high schools and the dates they will be participating, visit: https://collegegoal.az.gov/join-arizona-college-application-campaign
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