October is DC College Application and Exploration Month: Explore, Plan, Apply!
Sponsored by OSSE and the DC College Application and Exploration Month Steering Committee, DC College Application and Exploration Month is part of a larger national effort, coordinated by the American Council on Education, to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students who pursue a postsecondary education. The goal of DC College Application and Exploration Month is to provide all graduating seniors, especially those who may not otherwise apply to college, with the preparation, opportunity, and support needed to apply to college and ensure that each participating student completes and submits at least one application. The district-wide effort will occur annually during the month of October.
During DC College Application and Exploration Month, entire school and college access communities will have the opportunity to promote a college-going culture and support students as they explore college options and apply to college. Formerly known as College Application Week- participating sites hosted application drives and college awareness activities during the first week of November. With this new time frame, students can participate in the college application process at their own pace and schools can align this initiative with many of the college exploration activities that traditionally take place in the fall of the academic year. We invite you to participate.
If you are interested in participating as a host site, OSSE requests the following:
- Set aside time and space during the school day and provide technology for12th grade (or adult) students to complete applications online. (Please use your own discretion when determining the amount of time and space needed for students to complete applications.) 11th grade students and younger can complete various other college awareness activities that will be featured in the Site Coordinator planning toolkit;
- Designate a site coordinator as the main organizer of the event;
- Complete the required site coordinator survey (after the event), which allows OSSE to evaluate the impact of DC College Application and Exploration Month;
- Promote a college-going culture via messages and excitement about exploring and planning for college; and
- Set the goal that “100 percent of all graduating seniors will apply to at least one postsecondary institution.”
Please continue to visit our page in the upcoming months for updates on DC College Application and Exploration Month.
Application to Participate
The application to participate is now open! To be recognized as an official host site, DC public and public charter schools and community-based organizations must register before Aug. 26, 2016 to receive a free virtual planning toolkit.
Deadline to apply: The deadline to apply for DC College Application and Exploration Month is Friday, Sept. 30, 2016.
Want to learn more about hosting DC College Application and Exploration Month activities at your high school, middle school elementary school or community-based organization? Join Tiffany DeJesus, DC College Application and Exploration Month District Coordinator, as she walks you through the purpose of DC College Application and Exploration Month, expectations as a host site, and DC College Application and Exploration Month best practices.
Information about Site Coordinator Training will be available Monday, Aug. 29, 2016.
Volunteers are critical to a successful DC College Application and Exploration Month. Districtwide and local recruitment of volunteers is needed to provide sufficient staff for each local event. Volunteers may include high school staff, registrars and admissions officers from nearby postsecondary institutions, and representatives from the community. Volunteers can greet and sign-in students, assist students with the completion of online college applications, or distribute information about financial aid opportunities.
Interested in becoming a volunteer? Please continue to visit our page in the upcoming months for updates.
Site Coordinator Resources
Updated resources for 2016 will be available in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, please view our resources from the 2015 campaign.
- Site Coordinator Resource Guide
- Senior Resource Guide
- Volunteer Resource Guide
- Creating a College Going Culture Guide
- Site Coordinator Training Webinar [PDF]
- Marketing Materials (including: posters, stickers and swag)
History of DC College Application and Exploration Month
Looking Back on DC College Application Week 2015
DC College Application and Exploration Month, formerly known as DC College Application week, has grown significantly since our 2012 pilot year when seven high schools participated. In its fourth year, DC College Application Week 2015 was a great success among DCPS and public charter schools, postsecondary institutions and community-based organizations across the District of Columbia. Participating host sites totaled 46, including 30 high school sites and 16 non-high school sites. This data illustrates an increase from 24 high school sites in 2014.
The 46 sites hosting events during the week of November 2-6, 2015 facilitated the completion of college applications for 2,505 seniors. With each host site setting a goal that 100 percent of all graduating seniors will apply to at least one postsecondary institution, DC seniors submitted more than 5, 636 applications.