White House Adds to College Resource Websites

More Information Online for All High School Students


President and Mrs. Obama have made no secret about their desire to see more children entering college, graduating, and going on to higher-paying jobs. Their actions in recent weeks have shown that they are serious about making college accessible and affordable for students from all backgrounds. A few weeks ago the President introduced the College Scorecard website. Presented by the U.S. Department of Education, this website utilizes the vast data resources of the federal government to provide information about annual costs, graduation rates and post-graduation salaries that will allow parents and students to make their own comparisons of colleges across the country.

Not to be outdone, Mrs. Obama launched her own Reach Higher initiative designed to give younger students in high school access to a broader range of information. Part of that initiative includes the newly-released Better Make Room website, which is aimed at students ages 14-19. It will provide information on a wide variety of college-related topics. Students can visit this site to find out information about signing up for the SAT and ACT exams, filling out federal financial aid forms (FAFSA), and applying to college. It will also be a kind of social media center, where students will be able to share stories about their goals and progress and tell others about what is inspiring them to go to college.

Using the power of the White House, she enlisted well-known celebrities to provide motivational messages and help promote the site’s launch. The idea is to let these students know that their circumstances have not relegated them to a certain path in life, and to inspire them to dream, reach out and accomplish more.

A star-studded video encourages students to make room for better choices, more opportunities and a higher quality of life.

On the website students can enroll to receive text message from UP NEXT which will give them that extra push to get important actions completed, like applying and paying for school.

An e-newsletter option will provide regular updates. They are encouraged to share photos and comments, and to join in a nationwide group of peers who are considering college. Corporate supporters include more than twenty media outlets, non-profit groups and businesses such as Vine, Mashable, American Eagle Outfitters, Funny Or Die and the CW television network, AwesomenessTV and CollegeHumor.

The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady's effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by extending their education past high school, whether at a community college, a professional training program, or a four-year college or university. The goal is to utilize available digital and social media resources to help make more high school students aware of the benefits of attending college, and to provide them with the tools and resources they need to make that dream come true. Despite some of the concerns associated with rising tuition levels and higher student loan debt burdens, these actions seem well-designed to help bring awareness, insight, hope and information to tomorrow’s college students.

Closely tied in with the motivation to attend college is the ability to pay for it.

It is crucial that today’s high school students fully understand the costs of attending college and the financial aid opportunities that are available to help pay for it. If you are a student in high school or know somebody who is, this website is a great place to start gathering college information. Information is the key to success in life and also in the college hunt.