Key part of College Access for All initiative promoting a schoolwide college-going culture
NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced a record-high 456 schools are participating in College Application Week, a coordinated statewide week-long effort to support students in planning for, and applying to, college. The 456 schools will offer a range of activities from October 16 to October 20 to support a schoolwide college-going culture, from college workshops for 9th graders to college and financial aid application sessions for 12th graders. College Application Week is part of College Access for All, one of the initiatives in the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda to ensure that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready.
“College Access for All is about showing our kids that we believe in them and their ability to go on to college, regardless of what zip code they live in or whether their parents went to college,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are making the investments to remove any barriers to their success—whether it’s eliminating the CUNY application fee, making the SAT free for all our juniors, or taking our 7th graders to visit college campuses—and College Application Week is an important part of that effort.”
“As the first person in my family to go to college, I understand our responsibility as a school system to give all our kids the awareness and resources they need to go on to college and careers, and that’s why we’re making these investments in College Application Week and College Access for All,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I’m glad to see over 450 schools across all five boroughs joining the effort, and making college a reality for the students they serve.”
“As a former high school principal, I know what a game-changer it can be to have an entire school rally behind its students. We’re thrilled to support a record-high number of schools doing exactly that across the five boroughs through College Access for All. The work will enable our students to graduate with more postsecondary options and better positioned to succeed in the next stage of their lives,” said Phil Weinberg, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning.
The 456 schools include 126 in the Bronx, 128 in Brooklyn, 106 in Manhattan, 83 in Queens, and 13 on Staten Island. They include 29 charter schools, 16 District 75 and District 79 programs, and eight elementary and middle schools. The Chancellor made the announcement at Pace High School in Manhattan, where seniors are working on updating their Common App and applying to colleges over the course of the week.
Last year, 365 New York City schools participated in College Application Week, and 161 schools participated in the 2014-15 school year.
Schools are hosting a variety of activities to promote college awareness and access across all grades, such as: inviting graduates back for alumni panels, taking students on college trips, having staff wear college gear to promote awareness, hosting college application completion “marathon” sessions, and inviting families into the building to discuss and promote college awareness and applications.
All DOE high schools have received a College Application Week toolkit with college planning resources they can use for this week and throughout the school year. The DOE is also partnering with approximately 100 community-based organizations and higher education partners as part of College Application Week. In partnership with New York State’s Higher Education Services Corporation, all participating schools are receiving college awareness posters and stickers to encourage a schoolwide college-going culture.
“College has become a key path to knowledge economy jobs and career success, and it must be a real option for any student who wants it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Students are at their most confident and are better equipped to seize opportunities when they have the support at school they deserve. I am pleased that more than 450 schools will be encouraging and supporting students who are or should be interested in pursuing college.”
“Great News from Chancellor Fariña and Mayor de Blasio!” said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan. “I hope many schools in CSD 24 and 30 will participate in this exciting opportunity.”
“A solid higher education is one of the keys to the middle class, which is why it’s critical that we set students on a path to college as early as possible,” said Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “I commend the Department of Education for their work in organizing College Application Week, and I look forward to pushing for more access to higher education for our students and families across New York.”
“A record number of NYC students are pursuing higher education,” said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “I celebrate these statistics. They are a result of our city's considerable multi-year investment in public education. These students will be leaders in their fields, and will take our City to new heights. I will continue to work alongside the administration to move our schools forward.”
“As our young people prepare for the next chapter of their lives, our City’s College Application Week will provide the education and resources needed to ensure that college-bound students and their parents are well equipped for the road ahead,” said NYC Council Member Margaret Chin. “With 456 participating schools, this initiative will help open doors for more students and families who need guidance throughout this process. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for their efforts to increase access and equity in higher education.”
Through the College Access for All initiative, by the 2018-19 school year, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus and every high school student will have the resources and supports at their high school to graduate with an individual college and career plan. To date, the initiative has also eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students, and made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors.
Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.