Boston – Thousands of students in the city of Boston are getting a glimpse into their college futures this month, as the Boston Public Schools again partner with Success Boston for College Month 2017 in October.
College Month is a month-long celebration of college readiness that combines an early college awareness strategy for young students with an intentional effort to help every high school senior to develop a post-secondary plan. It is rooted in a growing movement to foster a citywide college-going culture in Boston to ensure Boston's young people are prepared to meet the challenges of higher education and achieve a degree that will allow them to thrive in the workplace.
“College completion is no longer an option in our knowledge-driven economy in Greater Boston, it is a necessity,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “A certificate or degree opens doors and provides opportunities for family-sustaining incomes that simply do not exist for those without one. We’re proud once again to work with Boston Public Schools and our Success Boston partners to empower students to get ready, get in and get through higher education.”
“Boston Public Schools is committed to support all students and get them ready for college and careers,” said Superintendent Tommy Chang, “but in addition to giving them the skills to succeed, we must illuminate the opportunities that college can provide. College Month activities help students see how what they are learning in school today can be leveraged to give them brighter futures through higher education.”
Each week in College Month highlights a “college knowledge” theme. Students across elementary, middle, and high schools will participate in age-appropriate college awareness activities. This year, those themes are:
Week 1: Affording College
Week 2: Exploring Careers & Planning Your Future
Week 3: Getting Ready & Getting In
Week 4: Why College?
The month culminates on Saturday, November 4th, when the annual City-Wide College and Career Fair will be held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College. The Fair is expected to draw nearly one thousand students and parents to connect with dozens of colleges and universities from across New England and other states, as well.
Students and families also will have the opportunity to engage in individual college/career advising sessions and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on-site at the college fair.
“Paying for college is one of the biggest financial decisions that an individual will make in their lifetimes,” said uAspire CEO Bob Giannino. “There are millions of high school students across the country and there is a finite amount of higher education dollars out there. You want to be at the front of the line for those dollars, and the FAFSA is the first step in that process.”
As part of its public awareness campaign, a College Month Toolkit is available online with additional information, resources, key messages to share with students, and suggested activities for each week. In addition, students and families can find relevant resources and ask questions pertaining to college, financial aid, and career by using the hashtags, #CollegeMonth and #SuccessBoston.
Boston Public Schools and the City of Boston launched College Month in 2006 to promote Get Ready for College Day activities for BPS eighth graders, as well as the distribution of a newly-developed BPS College and Career Guide. Ten years later, College Month is sustained by BPS and the community partnerships of the Success Boston College Completion Initiative. Success Boston, launched in 2008, is a partnership of the Office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, the University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), and more than 50 higher education and nonprofit institutions. The initiative is working to double the six-year college completion rate of BPS graduates.
Learn more about College Month by visiting www.successboston.org or using the #SuccessBoston hashtag.
The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2016, the Foundation and its donors paid $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations both here and around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation or TPI, visit tbf.org or call 617.338.1700.