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DC College Application and Exploration Month FAQs

Friday, September 15, 2023

Question 1: What is DC College Application and Exploration Month (DC CAEM)?

DC College Application and Exploration Month (DC CAEM) is part of a larger national effort, coordinated by the American Council on Education, to increase the number of students who pursue a postsecondary education. The goal of DC CAEM is to build excitement and enthusiasm around the college application and exploration process by partnering with schools and community-based organizations to provide support and resources to their students.

Question 2: What is the benefit of my school/organization participating?

This is a city-wide and a national movement. Through this initiative we can elevate the student-focused efforts that are happening across the community and shine a light on the important work we do to achieve a common goal. If your school is already implementing an approach to support students through the college application process, joining the DC CAEM initiative and the national campaign elevates your good work and provides a platform for your school/organization to serve as a leader in this work. Participating in the initiative also allows for participating sites to learn from each other, and share best practices, resources and activities that can lead to improvement in service delivery.

Question 3: What are the expectations for participating schools or community-based organizations and site coordinators?

Your DC College Application and Exploration Month event(s) can occur any time in the fall, but we encourage your site to focus on the month of November – schools and community-based organizations are not required to participate in the entire month. Participating schools or community-based organizations are required to track and submit event/programming data to OSSE at designated times. Host sites are also expected to devote time and space during regular operating hours for college exploration activities, including support for seniors to complete college applications. Schools and community-based sites are encouraged, but not required, to integrate other college exploration events into the month – such as essay writing workshops or a parent night. New sites should start small and build on what works well. Returning sites should expand on successes they have had in the past.

Question 4: What support will participating schools and community-based organizations receive?

Registered public and public charter high schools in the District and community-based organizations will receive free marketing materials, application fee waivers, promotional for your student and a DC CAEM Site Coordinator handbook and toolkit.

Question 5: Are there trainings available for host sites?

Typically, training is only required for new host sites and new host site coordinators, but anyone interested can attend. If you would like to attend a training, please contact Joi Jones at [email protected].


  • September – Registration Opens
  • October – Site Coordinator toolkit, and fee waiver document becomes available
  • Late October – DC College Application and Exploration Month promotional material delivery – notified by email
  • Throughout the fall, but especially in November – Participating sites will host DC CAEM events, promote on social media using the hashtags #iAppliedDC and #WhyApplyDC
  • December – Host sites will submit event data to OSSE


For more information or questions, please contact Joi Jones at [email protected].

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