While the $1.6 trillion in student
debt indicates a crisis for all students, borrowing for college
while Black is a different experience. Black students are more
likely to borrow, borrow more, owe more than their original loan
amount and struggle with repayment. They are more likely to
have higher default rates, even among those who earn a college
degree and come from high-income families. In this webinar, SREB
and Ed Trust highlighted the historical and systemic
injustices that have fueled this crisis and offer race-conscious
recommendations at the federal and state level to help make
college more affordable for Black students.
Student homelessness and food
insecurity was already a growing crisis before coronavirus, but
the pandemic is making the situation even worse. Read the latest
The #RealCollege survey
is the nation’s largest annual assessment of access to affordable
food and housing among college students. Results can be broken
down by state and institution, which state systems and individual
colleges can use to better understand the degree of housing and
food insecurity among their own students. This important
information can help in designing appropriate supports for
students in need.
One in five college students today
is a parent, and yet they remain a largely
invisible population. The vast majority of institutions do
not track parenting status and therefore do not know how many
student parents they have at any given time. Postsecondary
success for these students is critical and far-reaching: when a
student parent earns their degree, it has ripple effects that
span two generations, impacting the parent’s employment
opportunities and lifetime earnings potential, along with their
child’s chances for achieving academic and career success.
With up to a third of children struggling with anxiety in this
country, overwhelmed adults need a new approach
and practical, easy-to-implement strategies to
help children cope with their anxiety. During the
COVID-19 pandemic, when everyday life is so heavily
impacted, levels of anxiety in children and teens are likely even
higher and the risk for trauma greater.
Alarming drops in Free Application
for Federal Student Aid form completion and surveys showing
students are highly uncertain about their college plans have
catapulted the education sector into responding in innovative and
urgent ways. The National College Attainment Network remains
committed to helping districts and schools take five actions,
right now, to help students stay on a path for success after high
The global COVID-19 pandemic hit
campuses across the country in the blink of an eye. In rapid
succession, campuses closed, courses moved online, and our
lives—personally and professionally—were permanently altered.
The sudden onset and rapid spread of the coronavirus has caused
many sudden changes to student and family finances. At the
same time, students may not have the same level access to
counselors and advisers that they did prior to social distancing.
Yet research shows that students and their families know very
little about their right to appeal financial aid awards as well
as the process for doing so.
Social distancing in response to the coronavirus crisis has
caused the loss of students’ and their families’ employment
and changes to financial situations. In this webinar, Andrew Moe,
director of admissions at Swarthmore, provided an overview of
access issues in the admissions process as well as the many other
micro-barriers students from low-income backgrounds face when
applying to college.
Due to the cancellation of the spring SAT administration, the
College Board has updated the Opportunity Scholarships to
ensure as many students as possible can take part in this
program. Below are the new program updates:
The sudden onset and rapid spread of the coronavirus has caused
many unforeseen consequences in (and rapid changes to) the
college admissions process. In this webinar, Rick Clark, director
of admissions at Georgia Tech and nationally-known author, shared
the most up-to-date information that school counselors need to
know about virtual interviews and campus visits, May deposit
deadlines, incomplete high school transcripts, entrance exam
testing, financial aid appeals and more.
This webinar, hosted by SREB in
partnership with Common Application Inc. (Common App), built on
the previous webinar of the same name on how to provide school
counseling services virtually. In this webinar, a panel of
leading experts in school counseling shared their insights
on how they are supporting students’ academic, college/career,
and social-emotional needs when schools are closed or have moved
to online instruction.
In this webinar, Brian Coleman of Chicago Public Schools and 2019
ASCA School Counselor of the Year, shared his insights on how to
support students’ academic, college/career, and social-emotional
needs when schools are closed or have moved to online
instruction. Brian stressed the importance of having a strategy
first before diving in. Important things to consider are the
legal and ethical issues involved, school district policies, and
what technology tools your students have access to.
Sample video. In this
video, Mr. Coleman describes the Self-Assessment project for
Juniors at Jones College Prep during the COVID-19 school closure.
In this webinar, representatives of Florida A&M University
and Spelman College provide a look into the unique
campus culture, academic learning environment and social
experiences found at historically black colleges and
universities. This webinar was designed for school counselors and
college access advisers who work with students of color in
order to help them become more familiar with the
special opportunities HBCUs provide.
This webinar defined minority serving institutions and
provided an overview of the various types of colleges that make
up this group. Participants learned how these institutions
contribute to student success and explored key policy issues
pertaining to minority serving institutions at the state and
Presenters from American Institutes of Research and Rutgers
University discussed the value of historically black colleges and
universities to both students and to the field of
postsecondary education. Presenters provided an overview
of their research on how predominantly white
institutions and HBCUs impact graduates’ economic mobility.
To prepare students and parents to
complete the FAFSA form, it is critical to understand the
barriers, the support needed and the resources available to
navigate the financial aid process. This webinar provided
guidance on how to support students and parents in complicated
family or financial circumstances, such as students in foster
care or experiencing homelessness, or dependent students who
don’t live with their legal parents. Through a review of
federal updates, frequently asked
“Complete 2 Compete” is a partnership between the eight public
universities, 15 community colleges, and one medical center in
MS. As part of C2C, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher
Learning and the Mississippi Community College Board partnered
together to identify adult non-completers, categorize adults into
target groups, launch a website and comprehensive marketing
campaign, and provide support services to help adults complete
Social listening a very inexpensive and quick way to conduct
market research. It is a great tool for conducting qualitative
research to better understand the students that college access
programs are trying to serve in order to better design
interventions and support programs that will need students’
This webinar, led by Rachel Weatherly, Director of Digital
Communication Strategy at American University, outlined the key
characteristics that define Generation Z, how these students
differ from the Millennials Generation (Gen Y), how to
communicate effectively with these students, and how to help them
meet their postsecondary goals. Topics that were covered
Affordability is key for many students and families when choosing
colleges. In this webinar, presenters outlined specific ways
to approach the issue, including how to interpret, share, and
translate information from tools like financial aid award
letters, the College Scorecard, and net price calculators, and
how to help students navigate the financial aid application
process, even if they are selected for verification.
Mark your calendars! Reach Higher is celebrating the 5th National
College Signing Day in May!
As you know, May 1st is the deadline by which many high school
seniors tell colleges where they plan to attend in the fall. And
we are thrilled to invite Go Alliance partners to join us again
to host celebrations of support for all of your students who
commit to continue their education after high school.
In 2016-17, NCAN and The Kresge Foundation challenged 22 U.S.
cities to raise FAFSA completion rates by at least 5 percent for
the high school graduating class of 2017 over the completion
rates for the class of 2015. Overall, the cities met this goal,
and ten of the cities increased FAFSA completion by more than 6
This presentation, led by Mark Williams, assistant professor
at the Community College of Baltimore County,
addressed the current and sometimes difficult
conversation concerning the complexity of equity and its
potential impact on implementing effective student support
programs. This session provided an overview of background
research on high impact practices and guided pathways as they
relate to equity and provided a deeper understanding of
equity’s role in designing effective high impact practices.
To support Tennessee’s mission to increase the number of
Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential, the Tennessee Higher
Education Commission’s (THEC) Division of College Access and
Success was established in 2005 to bring together many of the
state’s college access and success initiatives. The Division
designs and implements programs and initiatives with the goal of
empowering communities, local education agencies, and other
partner organizations to create a statewide culture of
college-going and attainment.
Since 2005, Arkansas Community Colleges have been at the
forefront of an innovative welfare reform experiment that uses
federal TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families welfare
dollars) to send low-income Arkansans into the Arkansas Career
Pathways Initiative leading to higher wage, high-demand jobs.
This webinar provided an overview of Up Next, a free tool for
students and their families to help navigate the postsecondary
planning, college application, and financial aid processes.
Texting support can also help students stay in education
after high school and complete a postsecondary credential.
This webinar, led by Executive Director Brandy Johnson, provided
an overview of MCAN’s statewide strategy and programs.As the
leader in the Michigan’s college access movement, Michigan
College Access Network’s mission is to increase Michigan’s
college readiness, participation and completion rates,
particularly among low-income students, first-generation college
going students, and students of color. MCAN’s strategies
include the development of Local College Access Network, advocacy
and leadership, coordination and partnerships, professional
development, and statewide initiatives.
Go Alliance staff presented an strategic planning outline for how
plan and implement a statewide FAFSA completion campaign.
Representatives from Tennessee and West Virginia, who lead the
nation in FAFSA completion rates, shared best practices,
lessons learned, and effective strategies for engaging,
training and supporting partners, as well as grassroots
marketing tactics that compel students and families to take
Former First Lady Michelle Obama is committed to helping students
reach higher by completing their education past high school. She
continues to celebrate College Signing Day to recognize the hard
work of students who pursue and complete their postsecondary
education, whether at a two-year school, four-year university, or
through an industry recognized credential. Mrs. Obama will
celebrate Signing Day 2017 on May 5th, and she encourages all
schools and communities to celebrate their students, too.
The 1-2-3 Go! initiative, spearheaded by the State Council of
Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), includes three distinct
components: Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC)
College Nights events, Virginia College Application Week and the
Super FAFSA Project. These three services provide students with
critical assistance from counselors, advisers and experts on how
to prepare, apply and ultimately pay for their higher
education. The webinar occurred on November 10, 2016.
Karen Keegan and Julie Murawski of the Delaware
Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, led a
presentation on the Delaware Goes to College programs,
including texting support, College Scholars, Getting to Zero
campaign, Access to Opportunity Tour, and “Take the Leap! Be
First” video series.
Tireka Cobb, Director of Field Outreach Services, and colleagues
from LOSFA led a presentation on what they and their state
partners are doing to increase postsecondary access and success.
The webinar occurred on December 15, 2016. Topics included:
Carrie Warwick and Bill DeBaun of the National College
Access Network discussed best practices and recent research
on the effectiveness of early awareness strategies. They
also recommended policies to improve strategies at the state
level and provided an overview of tools that practitioners
can use in their work. Bill discussed how to measure the
effectiveness of early awareness programs.
This webinar provided an overall understanding of LGBTQ youth,
the issues they face in education today, and what supports these
students need in planning and applying to college. Specific
topics that were addressed included:
• LGBTQ Student Needs
• Identity Development
• Considerations for Career and College Planning/College Advising
• High School Climate Changes
Presenter: Dr. Ken Jackson, Decatur High School (GA)
In this webinar, Dr. Kyle Reyes showed how Utah Valley University
developed and implemented a campus-wide, strategic inclusion and
action plan to increase diversity and retention. Dr.
Reyes addressed various phases of the planning process he
used, including: guiding principles and questions, frameworks and
structure, leadership and committees, target goals and timelines,
action steps and deliverables, budget and resources, and
accountability and assessment. In his presentation, Dr.
Georgia State University in urban Atlanta has been recognized
nationally for its work to improve retention and graduation
rates, prevent students from taking unnecessary classes, and
ultimately lower college costs and student-loan debt. In this
webinar, Tim Renick and Allison Calhoun-Brown provided an
overview of the steps they and their colleagues have taken to
transform student success and Georgia State.
Each year, approximately 1.5 million children and youth
experience homelessness, and 400,000 youth are placed in foster
care. This webinar provided a national overview of
the academic and support needs of this student population,
particularly in planning for, applying to, selecting, and
successfully transitioning into education after high school.
Presenters highlighted the promising support practices
underway by NAEHCY, GEAR UP and other national and state
programs. Topics covered included:
This webinar provides an overview of state
policies that grant students access to qualified,
professional school counselors who help students plan for
college and careers. The webinar also included an
explanation of how each policy was planned and eventually enacted
by state. Policies included in the discussion:
Misti Ruthven, Colorado Department of Education; Paula Gumina and
Eve Pugh, Colorado Department of Higher Education
From policies to programs, Colorado school counselors have
assisted in leading the career and college conversation from a
state-based grant program to counseling standards and FAFSA
completion. This high-level discussion shared Colorado’s
strategies for aligning systems and reinforcing collaboration.
In this webinar, Jennifer Cox Bell, National Director of Programs
and Partnerships, offered perspective and lessons learned on
starting multi-member partnerships anchored in higher education
in addition to sharing insight on how College Advising Corps
selects and helps launch programs at new partner institutions.
The Razor C.O.A.C.H. program is a three-year, grant-funded
partnership between the University of Arkansas Counselor
Education program and local high schools to assist at-risk
students in college and career planning.
Kate Derrick, Troy Grant and Mary Laphen, Tennessee Higher
The Tennessee Higher Education Commission created a
comprehensive, annual series of Path to College events to meet
the needs of high school students: College Planning Nights,
College App Week, College Goal Tennessee and College Signing Day.
This webinar provided an overview of www.MoveEd.org, a new
website sponsored by Lumina Foundation. MoveED brings together
organizations committed to helping low-income students, students
of color, first-generation students and adult learners attain a
In this webinar, led by the CEO of the award-winning Bella Web Design, attendees learned how to get your college access site designed cleanly and optimized for a mobile world. Content covered how to design websites for a seamless mobile experience and how that design affects your visibility in Siri and Google searches, including:
Fostering Success Michigan is a statewide initiative that aims to
increase awareness of, access to and success in higher education
and postsecondary opportunities among youth and alumni of foster
care, by building a network to support college campuses and local
This webinar provided an overview of how academic mindsets
and other psychological factors impact student success at the
postsecondary level. A summary of resesarch to date on
postsecondary dropout prevention programs — what programs seem to
be working and why — was presented, followed by a discussion
of how similar programs can be implemented in postsecondary
systems in SREB states.
Never before has information been so prevalent and available.
Never before have we had so many ways to connect with our
stakeholders. And never before have we been so overwhelmed.
Technology can help us to cope with information overload,
manage workflow, and work more efficiently.
This webinar provided an overview of technology that can used to
keep track of the latest research, collaborate with partners
scattered across the country, and provide around-the-clock
support for students.
As a follow-up to last year’s presentation at the Go Alliance
annual meeting, representatives from uAspire in Boston shared the
latest information on how high school counselors are using a
variety of outreach methods (phone, email, text and Facebook
messaging) to stay in touch with low-income, college-bound
students during the summer after high school graduation. As a
result, college enrollment rates have increased significantly
among students who would be the first in their families to attend
The days of bludgeoning algorithms, networks and people are over.
Modern marketing in channels such as search engines, social
media, content marketing and email requires subtle “nudges” to
Many well-intended programs have been designed to tackle the
challenge of postsecondary completion, but few work as expected.
Behavioral economics offers a reason why: People (students
included) don’t behave the way we expect.