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.”
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.
Volunteers from colleges and the community are critical to a successful DC College Application and Exploration Month event. Volunteers can lend their individual expertise at any of the registered sites and are needed in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the high school or community based organization.
- Greet and sign-in students at events
- Assist students with the completion of online college applications
- Speak to student or parent groups
- Share information about the college application process
- Share personal stories about your career or college journey
- Share about your area of expertise (financial aid, college persistence, college preparation, essay writing, etc.
If you would like to volunteer at a host site during DC College Application and Exploration Month, please register online.
Training sessions for DC College Application and Exploration host Month host sites will emphasize the importance of effectively utilizing and communicating with volunteers. Site coordinators are encouraged to contact you on a first-come, first-serve basis to confirm your availability and schedule you for their event(s). For this reason, registering to volunteer does not guarantee that you will end up volunteering at a specific site, or at all. We appreciate your time and willingness to contribute to DC College Application and Exploration Month.
Site Coordinator Support and Training
District of Columbia public and public charter schools, and community based organizations interested in participating provide time and space during the school day or regular working day for college exploration activities with a special focus on support for seniors to complete college applications. College access programs that work within schools or districts can host DC College Application and Exploration Month events and serve students within their pre-existing program structure.
Guidance and support for students and their families will be provided by high school and/or college access staff and volunteers from colleges and the community. The DC College Application and Exploration Month steering committee will provide resources, materials, technical support and training for registered sites to assist with the implementation of their activities and events for the month.
2016 Site Coordinator Resources
October Planning Calendar [PDF]
Site Coordinator Resource Guide [PDF] - this guide gives site coordinators the basic tools to plan, promote, and host successful DC College Application and Exploration Month events.
Training PowerPoint [PDF] - updated in 2015. Access the DC College Application and Exploration training for new and returning site coordinators.
2016 List of Participating Postsecondary Institution - a list of schools in the United States that accept the Collegeboard fee waiver or waive fees during DC College Application and Exploration Month.
Toolkit Items - this is a list of downloadable tools and link from your Site Coordinator Resource Guide. Feel free to customize documents and resources as you see fit.
Planning Your Events
a. Site Coordinator Planning Checklist [DOC] (template)
b. Ask Me About It [DOC]
c. College Bingo Activity [PDF]
d. Online Scavenger Hunt [PDF]
Recruiting and Organizing Volunteers
e. Volunteer or Donation Request Letter [DOC] (template)
f. An Overview for Teachers/Staff/Community [DOC] (template)
g. Volunteer Reference Guide [DOC] (template)
h. Volunteer Thank You Letter [DOC] (template)
Promoting the Month
i. Press Release [DOC] (template)
j. Follow-up Press Release [DOC] (template)
k. Student/Family Letter [DOC] (template)
l. DC College Application and Exploration Month Flyer [PDF]
Working with Students
m. Student Sign-in Sheet [DOC]
n. NACAC Eligibility and FAQ’s [PDF]
o. NACAC Application Fee Waiver [PDF]
p. Senior Resource Guide (2015 Edition) [PDF]
q. Senior Application Information Worksheet [PDF]
r. College Application Worksheet [PDF]
s. College Comparison Worksheet [PDF]
t. Teacher Recommendation Request [PDF]
u. I applied..Now What? [PDF]
v. What You Need to File the FAFSA [DOC]
w. 2015 DC Scholarship Guide [PDF]
x. Undocumented Student Resource (Coming Soon)
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.
2015 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)
[DOC] This document is presented as a Microsoft Word. If you unable to open the document, download the viewer.