Getting ACAC Started in Your State
The American College Application Campaign® team is available to offer technical assistance and trainings to help make your program a success. The first step is to contact our staff so we can provide you with a brief overview of the initiative, guide you on next steps for identifying a State Coordinator, and walk you through the resources available to assist with the planning and implementation of your state's program.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by reaching out to one of our team members.
ACAC Training and Implementation Materials
The following resources are intended to assist each State Coordinator as they plan and implement the Campaign in their state.
The State Coordinator Manual provides an overview of the Campaign at state-level. It includes resources and worksheets to accomplish the key tasks of implementing a successful Campaign program, templates for communication, and a timeline to guide implementation. Each State Coordinator should download and review this Manual and contact the ACAC team with any questions.
Please ensure that the ACAC team has the most up-to-date contact information regarding the individual serving in the State Coordinator role. If you need to update our records or if you’re unsure whether we have your contact information, please send an email to email@example.com with your name, title, organization, email address, and phone number.
Document: 2016 ACAC State Coordinator Manual
The Site Coordinator Manual is a template document that provides an overview of the Campaign at the school-level. State Coordinators should review, edit, and customize the Site Coordinator Manual to reflect their state’s implementation of the Campaign. Once edited, this document should be sent to Site Coordinators at participating high schools and posted to the state’s Campaign website.
Document: 2016 Site Coordinator Manual
SREB and GO ALLIANCE’s College Application Week: A Toolkit for Increasing Access to Higher Education publication provides state educational policy makers with a summary of effective program practices from six states of the College Application Campaign. Further, it guides college access practitioners through a variety of options and opportunities for engaging students in a college-going process.
Document: SREB Guide
As highlighted in the State Coordinator’s Manual, it is important for each state to create its own brand for their Campaign program. Many states already have college access initiatives underway that can be leveraged for the Campaign. In the Samples of State Campaign Branding document below, you will find a few approaches by ACAC states highlighted.
Document: Samples of ACAC Branding
Researching Colleges and Financial Aid
It is critical that students be prepared for the college application and financial aid application processes by doing research on colleges they would like to apply to and having an understanding of their financial aid options. Activities and resources to help prepare students for these important steps on the journey to postsecondary education are included in the ACAC State Coordinator Manual and the Site Coordinator Manual. Please note, this aspect of the program should be started prior to the scheduled College Application event. The College Application event is designed for students to receive assistance in completing and submitting applications, not for exploring and matching themselves to institutions of higher education. National resources are also outlined below. In addition to these tools, your state may also have resources that students and their families can use. If so, please ensure that you update the Site Coordinator Manual with that information.
ACT, the non-profit organization that provides a variety of college preparation tools including ASPIRE, EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT, has multiple research tools available on their website to assist students in researching colleges and financial aid options. Visit ACT Profile, their career and college planning site at: http://www.act.org/profile/. ACT Profile provides personalized information to students and offers "access to information about 1,500 popular majors and nearly 6,000 different careers—including extensive, detailed information about 448 majors and 555 careers. Students can use this information to better understand the connections between their unique interests, abilities, and values and potential education and career paths." ACT’s financial aid research site, http://www.actstudent.org/finaid/, includes a Financial Aid Need Estimator and information on the various types of aid available.
ACT has developed a guide for implementing ACT Profile in support of ACAC events with free college and career planning. We encourage states interested leveraging this resource with the college application program to review the guide and contact the ACAC team with any questions they may have.
BigFuture by College Board
College Board, the non-profit organization that provides a variety of college preparation tools including the PSAT and SAT, has developed BigFuture. BigFuture is a free college planning website to help students and their families in “preparing for, finding, and enrolling in college.” At BigFuture, students can research colleges and find institutions that are a good fit, learn about the various ways to pay for college, and create a personalized college plan. Visit BigFuture at www.bigfuture.org.
Center for Student Opportunity
The Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) www.csopportunity.org is “dedicated to promoting higher education opportunities for first generation and other underserved college-bound students.” This non-profit organization hosts the CSO College Center, http://www.csocollegecenter.org/, an “online clearinghouse of college programs and admissions information serving first-generation and historically underserved student populations.” This tool is intended to expose students to the resources available on specific campuses.
The student advocacy organization, Education Trust www.edtrust.org, uses data to promote their agenda of high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Their goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino, or American Indian—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream. Among the many resources available on their website is College Results Online (CRO), a free interactive Web tool that allows individuals to view graduation rates by students’ race, ethnicity, and gender. CRO provides families and students with the kind of information that refocuses the college selection process away from “getting into college” and towards finding a school that will support the student “getting through college.” www.collegeresults.org
U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator and Federal Student Aid Office
College Navigator, located on the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics website, provides detailed information for over 7,000 postsecondary institutions nationwide. Use their search tool to find colleges that meet your preferences: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
As stated on their website, the FSA office at the U.S. Department of Education is the largest provider of student aid in the nation. They have a variety of research tools, checklists, and information available to students, families, and schools interested in learning more about the types of aid available, helping students identify the amount of aid they are qualified to receive, and applying for aid. http://studentaid.ed.gov/
The Federal Student Aid Office at the US Department of Education has grade-level checklists and research tools to help students become academically and financially prepared for postsecondary education here. These checklists and resources can be utilized in classroom preparation activities: http://studentaid.ed.gov/prepare-for-college/checklists.
In addition, the Federal Student Aid office at the US Department of Education has checklists for parents to use to track the steps their students need to take to prepare financially and academically for college: http://studentaid.ed.gov/prepare-for-college/checklists.