Updates on Access to Opportunity Initiatives
We want to update you on a few of our Access to Opportunity™ efforts, designed to identify and break down barriers that prevent students — particularly low-income, college-ready students — from applying to and enrolling in colleges that are the best academic, social, and financial fit.
College Application Fee Waivers
Beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, every senior who takes the SAT® or SAT Subject Tests™ using a fee waiver will receive four college application fee waivers from the College Board. These waivers will be delivered to students online via their SAT account starting in late August and are made possible by the generosity of more than 2,000 participating colleges and universities nationwide.
Assistance Applying to College
We are gearing up for two outreach efforts designed to encourage students to broaden their college application choices.
- Realize Your College Potential: Customized packets of college planning information, including college application fee waivers accepted by more than 100 selective colleges, are being sent to high-achieving, low-income seniors beginning in late August. Learn more.
- Apply to 4 or More™: Select low-income seniors are being sent packets that include college application guidance and tools that will help them apply to four or more colleges. Customized packets may contain college application fee waivers, information on SAT fee waivers, and/or college planning resources. Learn more.
Information about these efforts is being sent to counselors and educators across the country. In addition, we will continue to provide free tools, resources, and professional development opportunities to counselors so they can help support students through the college application process.
Last year, nearly 3,000 school counselors joined this national effort to ensure that every student is prepared for college and career. By pledging support for the 4 or More campaign, they helped thousands of seniors in the class of 2014, especially low-income and underrepresented students. We thank them for their continued support. If you haven’t done so already, take a pledge to help students apply to four or more colleges.
Reach Higher: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Initiative
Announced in January 2014, the Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady’s effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university. Mrs. Obama addressed 2,000 counselors at the ASCA annual conference this summer. In her remarks she had high praise for the work of school counselors, saying counselors play a pivotal role in guiding students to higher education. She noted that “engaged school counselors like all of you are the deciding factor in whether young people attend college or not.”
To ensure that students understand what they need to complete their education, this effort will include:
- Exposing students to college and career opportunities
- Helping students understand financial aid eligibility that can make college affordable
- Encouraging academic planning and summer learning opportunities
- Supporting high school counselors who can help more kids get into college
Previously called the Fall Counselor Workshops, these free workshops provide school counselors with the information they need to help students prepare for college and career success. The 2014 College Board Counselor Workshops will include:
- Updates on the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT®, and AP® programs
- A briefing on the ways the College Board delivers opportunity
- Spotlight on critical websites for counselors
- Counseling tips from seasoned practitioners
- New! An in-depth presentation on financial aid with materials prepared by the College Board in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid office will cover:
- Financial aid basics, best practices, FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® updates, strategies for evaluating financial aid award letters, and an overview of online financial aid resources and tools
Participants will also receive:
- Our What’s New brochure with program highlights and changes
- The College Board Quick Reference Guide with test dates for the upcoming year
- And more
College Board experts will lead our series of counselor-focused Access to Opportunity webinars.
- Fee Waivers 101
Sept. 25, 5 p.m. EDT
A comprehensive review of College Board program fee waivers that are available to assist students, along with techniques for effective use of the waivers
- College Selection Process: Find the Best Fit
Oct. 2, 5 p.m. EDT
How to help students evaluate the academic, social, and financial benefits of potential colleges
- Letters of Recommendation: Effective Strategies for Selective College Admission
Oct. 9, 5 p.m. EDT
Tips for crafting a powerful letter of recommendation and strategies to help your students get admitted to selective colleges
- Assisting Undocumented Students in the College Application Process
Oct. 22, 5 p.m. EDT
Resources and tools for helping undocumented students navigate the college application process
Other Professional Development Opportunities
- The College Board Forum
Las Vegas, Nev.
- National College Access Network National Conference
- National Association for College Admission Counseling Conference
Plan to attend the preconference workshop, Directing a Dynamic Counseling Program.
Join Our Online Community
Help expand our online discussion group. It’s still new, so you can help shape the community as we work together to prepare our students for college and career success.