ACE’s American College Application Campaign Gears Up for Continued Growth, New Collaborations
September 14, 2016

The American College Application Campaign® (ACAC) this fall expects to reach hundreds of thousands of students in nearly 6,000 high schools across the country, focusing on first-generation students and students from low-income families who otherwise would not apply for college.

ACAC has joined forces with the ACT Center for Equity in Learning as it works to assist high school seniors in navigating the college admissions process. The Center advances ACT’s nonprofit mission to help people achieve education and workplace success through partnerships, research, and initiatives aimed at closing gaps in equity and achievement for underserved learners.

In addition to increasing the number of participating high schools, ACAC is working with ACT on two other initiatives:

  • Operating a pilot program in two ACAC state networks, Maine and Mississippi, that will explore ACT Profile, an education and career planning tool, as a way to support the student application process and enhance the effectiveness of the college application campaign in those states.
  • Developing a 9th and 10th grade pilot project, in 10 Iowa high schools, that creates material and tools to support college awareness and application. 

Launched in a single North Carolina high school in 2005, ACAC was transformed into a nationwide initiative in 2010 when ACE convened a national steering committee of government and nonprofit education leaders to guide the effort. By 2014 ACAC had expanded to all 50 states, and last year it helped about 355,000 students in nearly 5,000 high schools apply to college. Since its inception, ACAC has assisted more than one million students in completing approximately 1.7 million college applications.

Individual state application assistance events occur throughout the fall at high schools, most in October and November, during the school day. The goal is to create the opportunity for all seniors to submit at least one application.

After submitting their admissions applications, students also register for their FAFSA identification number and are provided with information about the federal student financial aid process.

These collaborations will help elevate ACAC in new and exciting ways. Through the work with ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, ACAC will be better able to advance the college readiness and achievement of underserved young people in the United States.