PARENT ENGAGEMENT AND SUPPORT
Parent support can propel a student to college or derail them. Many parents do not understand the long-term financial advantages of a college credential. Parents also need financial literacy regarding funding for college and an understanding of various post-secondary options.
Post-Secondary Advising for high school students
High school counselors have numerous duties and responsibilities. While high school counselors should be supported to provide additional and more in-depth support for college access, they must also continue to address numerous student needs includign social and emotional support, student course and program selection, and academic support toward graduation. Successful efforts to increase college access in other communities have added support from external partners to high schools for dedicated, individualized post-secondary advising, including support from volunteers, professional staff, teachers, peers and online resources.
A significant predictor of college access is completion of the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is generally required for consideration for all needs-based aid, not just federal aid. FAFSA completion rates at Palm Beach County high schools vary from 35 percent to 70 percent of graduating seniors.
Fewer than 25 percent of Palm Beach students receive the state-funded scholarships, Bright Futures. Even at the highest levels of Bright Futures scholarship covers less than 60 percent of tuition at a Florida public college. Therefore for middle and low-income students, completion of the FAFSA is essential for college affordability.
Scholarships, non-financial resources and support services for college students
Results in Palm Beach County and across the nation demonstrate that getting to college is much easier than getting through college. Our research revealed a number of barriers along the route through college that students must overcome in order to succeed. These include sustained funding for not only tuition but fees, books, and unexpected emergencies; academic advising support to select the best programs of study and necessary courses; navigation of rules and processes required for timely registration, withdrawal and payments; and social and emotional support to adjust to a college environment.
Click here for more information regarding each of Achieve Palm Beach County’s areas of focus.
This effort will improve measurable results by collectively and efficiently expanding effective practices to reach more students. Success of the initiative will be judged by success on the following performance measures.