Thursday | November 19, 2020

Sens. Scott, Coons, and colleagues introduce resolution designating November as National College Application Month

WASHINGTON- Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced a resolution in the Senate designating November as National College Application Month. The resolution was also introduced in the House by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Susan Wild (D-Pa.) to remind students that they should not let the pandemic prevent them from identifying their college options nor cause further disruptions and barriers to their educational journey. COVID-19 continues to complicate high school seniors’ and others’ assessment of their educational plans with fewer students applying to college and completing the FAFSA when compared to a year ago.

The bipartisan resolutions note that "the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for young adults with a bachelor’s degree and the unemployment rate for young adults whose highest credential is a high school diploma differ by 20 percentage points, which has widened exponentially as a result of the coronavirus." 

"Education is the key that unlocks endless opportunities," said Senator Tim Scott. "Although this year has been different than most, it’s important that the future of our young people not be hindered by the challenges of this pandemic. I encourage all students – regardless of age – to pursue your dreams and continue your educational journey."

"Even amidst all the challenges of this year, it’s important that all of us continue to dream big about the future. If you are a high school senior or someone thinking about returning to school, now is the time to apply and to learn more about your options," said Senator Coons. "I’m excited to work with my colleagues to recognize everyone undertaking that project this month and look forward to celebrating your plans come spring."

"We have an obligation to keep a high-quality education within reach for each and every student – and that starts with ensuring students and families have access to the important information on the college admissions process, know about the opportunities our excellent community colleges and two-year colleges in PA-07 provide, the value of an advanced degree, and costs so they can make decisions that are right for them," said Representative Wild. "This academic year comes with so many unprecedented challenges for our high school seniors and those looking to pursue higher education, so it could not be more important to support the work being done – virtually or otherwise – to help guide our students through the college process."

"I am proud to co-sponsor this resolution that will help shed light on the higher education application process. As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, I continue to encourage all youth to explore ways that they can further their education. I was proud to work with Senator Coons, Senator Scott, and Congresswoman Wild to designate November as National College Application Month," said Representative Guthrie

In the Senate, the resolution is also cosponsored by Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Tom Carper (D-Del.). The American College Application Campaign (ACAC), an initiative of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and Reach Higher have spoken in support of the resolution.

ACAC Director Lisa Sommer King said, "November is a perfect time for students, parents, and educators to focus on moving ahead with college applications. While we’ve had many disruptions in our lives, the congressional resolutions and the support from our allies in this work shows that we’re coming together to remind students —especially Black, Native American, Latinx, and first-generation students — that planning for the future must go on, even during the current challenges." 

"Applying to college should be a fundamentally student-centered process," noted Angel B. Pérez, CEO, NACAC. "Congressional recognition of the significance of the college application process helps raise awareness of the promise of higher education, the disparities in equitable access to college, and the supports needed to ensure that students can make successful transitions."

Stephanie Owens, director of programming, Reach Higher at the Common App, said, "Education is the single most important investment one can make for their future and it gives you the opportunity to meet people with different backgrounds and open your mind to critical thinking."

The three organizations stress the need for school districts and community members to talk to students about the importance of education beyond high school, to organize activities – whether in person or virtual – to support students through the college-going process, to celebrate the important milestones for the Class of 2021 like applying to college or filling out the FAFSA, and to provide a sense of normalcy amid uncertainty.

Read the “November as National College Application Month” resolution here.

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