Increasing Access to College
By 2020, more than two-thirds of Oregon jobs will require post-secondary education, yet only one-third of our high school graduates go on to complete a post-secondary degree or certificate within six years of graduation. Our students need access before they can earn a degree or certificate.
All Hands Raised joined with Portland Community College to convene Partners Accessing College Together (PACT) in order to increase college enrollment for underserved students countywide. Together, we identified that completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was one of the strongest predictors of post-secondary enrollment.
- As a result of our first year of collaboration, the FAFSA completion rate over the prior year increased 13.8 percentage points at Franklin, 3.8 points at Gresham and 3 points countywide.
- Today, counselors are swapping ideas across schools, community partners are playing active roles on school teams, and practitioners are actively communicating their lessons learned throughout their systems. Only four months into this year’s FAFSA season, schools are already seeing large increases.
- Data is driving positive change: throughout 2016, All Hands Raised worked with the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion to improve the flow of FAFSA data to all schools, giving schools the critical insight they need to understand student-level impacts. In addition, our regular distribution of real-time FAFSA completion rates for local schools continues to inspire healthy competition and a shared commitment to improve.
In the fall of 2015, PACT members used data and local insights to identify two schools to partner with and test practices aimed at increasing FAFSA completion. Six additional high schoools signed on to implement the core practices in 2016-17. Currently, All Hands Raised is working with Alliance High School at Meek, Centennial High School, David Douglas High School, Franklin High School, Gresham High School, Madison High School, Roosevelt High School and Sam Barlow High School. Click here to learn more about our post-secondary access partners.