Why apply to college? Ideally, it is a question that every high school student will ask, but the reality is much different. For some, attending college is a foregone conclusion—their parents went to college, they have been in a college preparatory curriculum, their friends and neighbors are going to college, the financial resources are available—it is just what is expected.
These students often need to be reminded to pause, step off the high school hamster wheel, and examine why they plan to attend college, setting intentions for what they hope to gain from the experience. Other young people might be the first in their family to consider college and/or have grown up in low-income families for whom higher education seems out of reach. Their “why” is likely a different question—one of access, affordability, outcome, and sacrifice. It is these students that a national initiative from the American Council on Education (ACE) seeks to reach.
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