Session 23

College Access Campaign and Federal Student Aid Campaign
Melanie Corrigan
American Council on Education

Mary K. Muncie
Federal Student Aid

Sponsors
• The Ad Council – Development, implementation, distribution and evaluation of the campaign • American Council on Education – Issue and technical experts – Understanding of community and constituents

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Sponsors
• Lumina Foundation for Education – Primary funder – Grantee resources • Federal Student Aid – US Department of Education – Key fulfillment partner – Brochure, 800#, translation

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College Access and Income
Income Low Achievement Low Low/Middle High 36% 57% 78% Middle 49% 73% 89% High 77% 87% 97%

Source: U.S. Department of Education

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Key Findings: College Access
• Low-income students are underrepresented • They have high aspirations • Do not understand how to get ready – process is a mystery to them

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Key Findings - Student Attitudes
• Survey of low income parents and teens in January 2006. – Aspirations for college are high.
• All low income teens (91%) want a college degree. • Virtually all (88%) disagree with the statement ‘I don’t believe that college is for someone like me.’

– They are not academically prepared.

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Key Findings - Student Perceptions
• Many teens turn to their parents for support, however they are relying on themselves and their friends to help them through the process. – The majority of low income teens (56%) feel their parents have been very helpful in applying to or considering college. However, 14% of low income teens do not find their parents helpful. – While teens felt that parents (26%) and teachers (22%) where the most helpful to them applying to or considering college, many (15%) have been doing most of the work themselves.
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Key Findings - Parent Attitudes and Behavior

• Most low income parents strongly disagree (73%) that their child is not college material. • BUT only 20% of low income parents have pushed their child to apply to or seriously consider college. – Most (57%) think the decision is up to their child

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Key Findings - Qualitative Interviews
• In-home family interviews – Aspirations – Community focused – Multiple pressures

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Conventional Wisdom: “You get good grades and you get to college, right?”

Big Idea:
Getting into college doesn’t just “happen”

Disruption: Beyond good grades, there are action steps you need to take to get to college.

How we want them to think: “If I want to go to college, I can’t leave it up to chance. I need take the necessary steps to make sure it happens. Who can I talk to?

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College Access
Basic Message • Big dreams and good grades are not enough. • There are actual steps you need to take. • The first and most important is finding someone who can help. • COLLEGE: Know How 2 GO!

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College Access
• Be a pain – Persistent, don’t give up • Push yourself – Take the right classes

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College Access
• Find the perfect fit – Discover your passion, find the right school • Get your hands on some money – Apply for financial aid

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College Access
Challenges
• Informational
– Motivate students – Inform guiding adults

• Operational
– Penetrate communities – Activate broad grassroots network

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PSA Campaign Target
• Year 1 Target: – Primary: Low-income, 1st generation students in grades 8 -10 – Secondary: Parents/adult guardian • Rationale: – Child is the primary ‘activator’ – Parent’s role is more supportive

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Media Components
• Traditional media – TV – Radio – Print – Outdoor – Internet banners

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Media Components - TV

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Media Components - Outdoor

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Media Components - Outdoor

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Media Components - Outdoor

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Media Components
• Non-traditional media – In-school posters – Gaming partners – Viral components • Engage community partners – Localizing messages – Campaign support

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Fulfillment - English and Spanish
• Web site – Sections for students, parents, and organizations – Comprehensive information by target and age – Connection to local community groups • Printed brochure • Toll-free number (800)4FED-AID

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College Access - Ongoing Activities
• Enlisting partners
• GED, YMCA • 3M, Simon Malls

• Public Relations (Powell-Tate)
• Launch • Momentum

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Why Is Federal Student Aid Initiating a Campaign?
The Most Costly Education Is the One Not Begun – 41% of 19 million undergraduates did not submit a FAFSA (03-04 program year) – That’s 7 million who did not apply for aid
• 1.5 million of those would have been Pell eligible

– Of the 59% who applied virtually all would be eligible for some aid

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We Are Federal Student Aid
• Largest single source of funding • Focused on processing and distributing • New to awareness and outreach—need to – Clarify our role – Promote our services—they’re FREE – Inspire as well as inform—call to action

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Establish Federal Student Aid as the Trusted Source

• Simplify and unify our identity • Align our messaging and mission • “Speak with one voice”—consistent look and feel

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Influence the 7 Million
Three-pronged campaign – Mass audience—cause potential – Partnerships – Target underrepresented populations

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Mass Audience
Engage public without paying—PSAs

– TV – Radio – Print – Generate the “buzz”

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Partnerships
Leverage others

– Common agenda organizations – Public interest groups – Business community—internal – Business community—external

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Target Underrepresented Populations
• Pilot with urban youth – Philadelphia – Charlotte • Latinos and African-Americans • Community of influencers • Evaluate and refine

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Combined Synergy

Amplify Our Message
» Aid is available » Information is free » Applying is free

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Take Action

Complete the FAFSAStart Here So that the 7 Million Go Further
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