Our Work

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. 

FAFSA Completion

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.  

Resources

Click here for more information regarding each of Achieve Palm Beach County’s areas of focus.

OUR Results

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.

Performance Results
Current Performance
Proposed Targeted Achievement (2024)
Performance Measure
Seamless College Access
68.7% (2015 HS Graduates)
80% (2023 Graduates)
Percentage of graduating seniors from Palm Beach school district high schools with seamless college enrollment (Fall after high school graduation)
Persistence to a Second Year
86.6% (2014 HS Graduates)
95% (2023 Graduates)
Percentage of Palm Beach school district students that seamlessly enroll in college who return to college for a second year
Completion among Seamless College Enrollees
62.5% (2009 HS Graduates)
80% (2018 HS Graduates)
Percentage of seamless college enrollees that receive a post-secondary credential within six years of high school graduation
Completion among all High School Graduates
42.3% (2009 HS Graduates)
65% (2018 HS Graduates)
Percentage of all Palm Beach school district high school graduates that receive a post-secondary credential within six years of high school graduation