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November is “I Am College Bound” Month in NH


Recognizing that academic and financial preparation is essential for college-bound students and their families, The NHHEAF Network Organizations' Center for College Planning (CCP) coordinates a statewide campaign during the month of November.

The goal of the “I Am College Bound” campaign is to provide New Hampshire high school students with the inspiration, information and planning support to pursue higher education goals. The Center for College Planning team especially encourages low-income students, their parents and their mentors to recognize that New Hampshire campuses and the U.S. Department of Education offer strong financial aid programs which enable eligible individuals to access financial assistance in paying for education beyond high school.

Studies have shown that benefits, beyond financial, to furthering education include an increased ability to think critically and analytically, express oneself more clearly orally and in writing, analyze and compute more effectively, and make knowledgeable and sound decisions. Also, greater job opportunities in a rapidly changing world are available to college graduates. It is projected that the jobs we know today will be non-existent ten years from now and that jobs of the future will be far more dependent on brain power than muscle power, making education beyond high school more crucial. According to the College Board, the investment for the typical student pays off very well over the course of a lifetime — even considering the expense of higher education. Perhaps even more importantly, increased earnings are by no means the only positive outcome of higher education. The knowledge, fulfillment, self-awareness, and broadening of horizons associated with education transform the lives of students and of those with whom they live and work.

Some benefits include:

  • Higher earnings are one of the important outcomes of higher education. Average earnings for adults increase with years of education and particularly with degree completion.
  • Adults with college degrees are more likely than others to receive health and pension benefits with their jobs.
  • College graduates are less likely to be unemployed or to rely on public income support payments.
  • Healthy behaviors and higher life expectancy are highly correlated with education levels.
  • College-educated adults have higher rates of voting and volunteering than others. They also engage more frequently in educational activities with their children.
  • Individuals who grow up with parents who attended college are more likely than others to enroll in college thus improving the quality of life for future generations.

Interested in learning more about trends in higher education? Reliable and comprehensive data from the College Board is provided for educators, policymakers and interested individuals for the purpose of shedding light on the current state of college prices and student financial aid, and how it changes from year to year.

These resources include:

  • Trends in College Pricing provides the latest information on changes in college tuition and other expenses over time.
  • Trends in Student Aid researches the amount and distribution of financial aid to students.
  • Education Pays explores how postsecondary education benefits students and society.

For the latest data from the College Board, visit the Trends in Higher Education Series online.

Celebrating “I Am College Bound” Month is a great start, but there are activities that can continue throughout the year to reinforce the idea and the importance of post-secondary education.

Inspiring today's youth is essential in helping them reach their goals and aspirations. As school teachers or counselors, you play a pivotal role in the lives of your students. Below are ways that you may wish to utilize in order to promote college awareness in your classroom during “I Am College Bound” Month or any time!

  • Ask each student to research a college or university. Each student can create a poster highlighting some fun facts, pictures or trivia about the school and display them in your classroom.
  • Ask high school seniors to talk with underclassmen about the importance of taking challenging courses, exploring careers, and planning for education beyond high school.
  • Ask current college students to share stories about their experiences preparing for and enrolling in college. Make sure to invite students representing diverse paths and college choices.
  • Ask members of the local community to share how their college experience has shaped their career path and to talk about the qualities employers look for in prospective employees.
  • Suggest that families visit college campuses - either for admissions tours, an athletic event, musical performances, or a community event.
  • Give out homework passes, bonus points or extra credit to students for participating in an early college awareness activity or visiting an event at a local college.

While it is beneficial to promote college awareness in individual classrooms, it is important to instill a college-going mentality within the entire school community. Below are ways to inspire all students in your school to make receiving a college degree a long-term goal.

  • Contact area colleges to see if they offer an advisor/advisee mentoring program. Working directly with local college students will develop an early understanding of what it's like to be a college student.
  • Hold a career fair in your school to educate students on various career options and the types of education needed to be successful in those fields.
  • Schedule an early college planning presentation for parents. The Center for College Planning (CCP) will present information to encourage and support their children's educational aspirations. Expert college counselors will address questions parents have about paying for college and will provide the facts about financial aid and saving for college. There is no charge for any CCP presentations. For a complete list or to schedule a program, visit www.nhheaf.org/events
  • Ask parents/guardians to attend college planning events at your school and to start a conversation with their students about planning and paying for college.
  • Share resources and emphasize school-based support for first-generation college-bound students.

Discover U, an interactive early college planning program, is designed to get 8th grade students excited about the opportunities higher education holds for them and to teach the students what is expected of them in the next all-important four years of high school. The information and tips they receive in this day-long event hosted on a local college campus will act as a guide for them towards success in meeting their educational goals. Students will have the opportunity to tour a New Hampshire college campus, hear from a panel of college students about their college experiences, dine in the college’s dining hall, and participate in a variety of activities all designed to encourage them on their path to college.

“Students in attendance will also receive brightly colored NHCollegeClub.com backpacks filled with college planning materials for students and parents, including an Early College Planning Guide to help parents planning for their child’s future education. To learn more about the Discover U program, contact the Center for College Planning at 888.7.GRADUATE x119.”

There is no doubt that the use of the internet has revolutionized the college application process. But with so many options, how can parents and students find the most appropriate information? The college counselors at The NHHEAF Network Organizations Center for College Planning have created a "best of the web" list to help guide families. Here you'll find many helpful sites with FREE resources. However, recognize that many sites charge a fee for their services or guarantee results. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Classroom & Careers:

www.acinet.org

www.onetonline.org

www.roadtripnation.com

www.nhscholars.org

Students with Disabilities:

www.ahead.org

www.ncset.org

www.thinkcollege.net

www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html


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