Press Release: Campaign Targets Increase In Maryland College Graduates
Maryland College Application Campaign Will Help Students And Families Realize College Dream
For Immediate Release
Contact: William Reinhard, MSDE, 410.767.0486, Phyllis Reese, MHEC, 410-767-7589
Baltimore, MD (November 5, 2014)
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) have teamed up with the American Council on Education (ACE) to create the first Maryland College Application Campaign (MCAC) to increase the number of students applying and gaining acceptance to college.
MCAC will take place November 10-14, with 21 high schools in seven participating school systems. ACE spearheads the national effort to help students and their families navigate the college application process, increasing the number of students applying to college early in their senior year—particularly from those who would be the first members of their families to pursue higher education.
Governor Martin O’Malley is committed to increasing the number of Maryland high school graduates applying for and gaining entrance into college. The new campaign builds on a pilot effort in six Prince George’s high schools last year.
“More Maryland students can realize the dream of a higher education thanks to this coordinated effort to simplify the application process for prospective students and their families,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “Our goal is to remove some of the mystery from the process and set students on the path to completing their education and career goals.”
MHEC awarded funding to MSDE through the U.S. Department of Education’s College Access Challenge Grant in support of this college access initiative.
“MHEC enthusiastically supports the collaborative nature of the Maryland College Application Campaign as an enhancement of the State’s ongoing college awareness efforts,” said Catherine Shultz, Acting Secretary of Higher Education. “This statewide pilot will help high school students navigate the college admissions process and broaden the circulation of information critical to college-bound students.”
High schools in Baltimore City, Cecil, Dorchester, Prince George’s, Somerset, Washington, and Wicomico counties are taking part. Maryland is implementing a comprehensive and supportive program to assist students in participating schools with the postsecondary application process.
During MCAC Week in November, students in the designated schools are given the opportunity to apply to any Maryland community college, independent college, or public four-year college or university. The initiative includes working with staff from Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP) and school counselors to prepare students for the process. It also establishes a formal partnership with College Goal Maryland (CGMD) to assist with completing financial aid applications.
Starting in January 2015 and continuing through March, CGMD staff and volunteers will provide guided assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, professionals working with CGMD will be available to explain admission processes, and talk with parents, guardians, and students about financial aid resources, applying for financial assistance, and how to access information regarding statewide student services. In April, CGMD will provide “Understanding Your Award Letter” sessions across the State to further remove barriers to college access.
“We hope our collaboration with MCAC will increase the number of college graduates in Maryland while improving financial literacy among our first generation, low income, and adult learners,” said Sharon Hassan, Executive Director of College Goal Maryland.
The MCAC process culminates with participating high schools holding College Decision Day events in May. Maryland plans to expand this initiative Statewide in the future.
Schools selected by their systems to participate are:
- Baltimore City: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Digital Harbor High School, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, Reginald F. Lewis School of Business and Law.
- Cecil County: North East High School, Rising Sun High School.
- Dorchester County: Cambridge South Dorchester High School, North Dorchester High School.
- Prince George’s County: Central High School, Potomac High School, Suitland High School, Bladensburg High School.
- Somerset County: Crisfield Academy & High School, Washington Academy & High School.
- Washington County: North Hagerstown High School, South Hagerstown High School.
- Wicomico County: Wicomico High School, Parkside High School, Mardela Middle-High School, James M. Bennett High School.
For more information about the Maryland College Application Campaign, go to http://marylandpublicschools.org/mdcac For more on the national campaign, go to: http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/American-College-Application-Campaign.aspx
Many participating schools are holding special events to spotlight MCAC. They are:
- Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Baltimore City, November 10-13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3:15-4:30 p.m.
- Vivian T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, Baltimore City, November 14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Reginald F. Lewis School of Business and Law, Baltimore City, November 11-14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- North East High School, Cecil County, November 11-12, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Rising Sun High School, Cecil County, November 11, 9 a.m.-3 pm.
- Cambridge South Dorchester High School, Dorchester County, November 11-12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- North Dorchester High School, Dorchester County, November 11-12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Central High School, Prince George’s County, November 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Potomac High School, Prince George’s County, November 11 and 12-13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Suitland High School, Prince George’s County, November 10-14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Bladensburg High School, Prince George’s County, November 12-13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Crisfield Academy and High School, Somerset County, November 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Washington Academy and High School, Somerset County, November 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- North Hagerstown High School, Washington County, November 13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- South Hagerstown High School, Washington County, November 13, 8:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
- Wicomico High School, Wicomico County, November 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Parkside High School, Wicomico County, November 10, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Mardela Middle High School, Wicomico, November 14, 9 am.-3 p.m.
- James M. Bennett High School, Wicomico, November 10, 9 a.m.-3 pm.