Vol. 1, Issue 1 - February 2017
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Director's Welcome

Dear friends,

Greetings! Welcome to the American College Application Campaign's (ACAC) first newsletter.  The goal of this newsletter is to share best practices, highlight national resources and keep you informed on the latest happenings at ACAC. Each issue will include a state profile piece, a featured national resource or partner, and links to valuable ACAC templates and toolkits.

Though our application campaigns take place in the fall, we know your hard work doesn't stop. And neither do we. The ACAC team is busy compiling state data and feedback. As we confirm state data, it will be posted to the ACAC website at We anticipate having national data ready for release in March.

We hope you enjoy our first newsletter and welcome your ideas and feedback. Please share them with me at

Melissa Caperton

State Profile: California

California set a goal to expand ACAC efforts beyond schools served by the University of California, Berkeley's College Advising Corps program but needed the right partner with a strong relationship within the school districts. Enter AVID. The AVID Center has a well-established relationship with schools across California (and the country). And thanks to AVID's leadership, K-12, nonprofit, and higher education leaders in California were brought together to learn about the College Application Campaign and gauge interest for growth.

AVID's infrastructure and strong relationships allowed the state to quickly utilize AVID schools as pilot sites for growth in Orange County and San Bernardino County. Each pilot school was required to establish a team before committing to the campaign. These teams included the school counselor, a school administrator, the school's AVID coordinator and the AVID district director.

"You can't have one champion [leading the campaign]. You have to have a team to ensure success and dedication," said Rob Gira, AVID executive vice president. By September 2016, AVID confirmed 23 school teams between San Bernardino County and Orange County ready to lead a college application campaign.

The schools’ excitement was high even with a tight training and launch schedule. School administrators and staff quickly recognized the value of supporting all students in the college application process. One school went as far as collecting $2,000 in donations from school alumni and community members to help cover college application fees for students who didn’t qualify for a fee waiver. Thanks to the quick-thinking of this teacher, no application was left incomplete because of a fee waiver requirement.

Each county took a different approach in confirming school participation. Orange County decided to start with a small, yet diverse group of schools. This method allowed the county to monitor the campaign closely to determine how to replicate in districts that may not be 100 percent supportive. While in San Bernardino County, coordinators focused on engaging all schools with interest in participating.

For the 2017 campaign, California hopes to double school participation in Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Coordinators have already started planning and will host an informational session in March for new schools. The goal is to have schools recruited before breaking for summer.

The pilot year efforts in Orange County and San Bernardino County were a success thanks to the leadership of AVID. Parents are emailing principals thanking them for the event and juniors are asking if they too will get to participate in a college application campaign. Paolina Schiro, RIMS AVID Regional Coordinator in San Bernardino County, said it best, “You really can’t be unsuccessful in this work. If even one more student applies, it’s a success!” We couldn’t agree more!

Orange County, Calif. students complete college applications.

Partner Profile: NCAN's #FormYourFuture

Form Your FutureNearly all students would receive money for college if they applied for it, yet only 44 percent of high school seniors do so before graduation. The National College Access Network's (NCAN) Form Your Future” campaign urges young people -- particularly low-income, minority students who would be the first in their family to attend college -- to claim what is theirs and achieve their educational dreams by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The campaign partners with celebrities and social media influencers with the goal of engaging students and reaching them on channels where they are most active. The campaign website also provides helpful free resources to volunteers and educators who want to provide one-on-one assistance on completing the FAFSA to students and their families, as well as ideas on how to spread the word and get others involved in the effort to encourage millions of students nationwide to apply for financial aid.

In This Issue:


National Convening
June 21-22, 2017
Washington, D.C.

Supported by ACT and
Hearst Foundations


Feb. 6 - 10, 2017

Join ACAC on social media to celebrate the hard working counselors who support college application campaigns across the country.


Toolkit Tip:

Now that your campaign has concluded and data are in:

  1. Take time to evaluate your efforts.
  2. Review the Implementation Timeline and Checklist found in the State Coordinator Manual and make adjustments for 2017.
  3. Begin to think about recruitment and outreach efforts for new schools.

Recruitment best practices include:

  • Presenting at your state's school counselor conference or college access network conference.
  • Submit an article to your school counselor association newsletter.
  • Host an informational webinar.

Go to ACAC Resources

Copyright © 2017 American College Application Campaign, All rights reserved.

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