White House: Reach Higher & North Star 2020 Resources
President Barack Obama has a North Star goal
that, by 2020, the United States will have the highest proportion of college graduates of any country in the world. First Lady Michelle Obama is championing the Reach Higher
(#ReachHigher) initiative to encourage college attainment and persistence, particularly among underrepresented populations. Below are a few key resources generated through both programs.
Letter - Importance of School Counselors
On June 30, 2014, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote to Chief State School Officers to emphasize the importance of school counselors and to urge them to adopt budget policies that support counseling staff. Included with the letter was a compilation of federal resources available to help schools support the hiring, professional development, and retention of school counselors and to augment counseling activities in K-12 schools.
FAFSA Completion Iniative
The US Department of Education starting with the 2014-15 school year is partnering with state grant agencies to provide districts, schools, and their counselors access to limited information for identifying students who have not filed a FAFSA form and better target counseling, filing help, and other resources to those students. The initative builds off a three-year pilot project that found that high schools that have access to FAFSA completion information can post impressive increases in the number of FAFSA filers.
To participate, state grant agencies must sign a new Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) agreement with the Department and enter into a data sharing agreement with a secondary school, school district, or designated entity. See the following resources for more information: