By Jueseppi B.
The First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative
Today, the First Lady is heading to the University of Texas at San Antonio to talk to high school students during the city’s fourth-annual College Signing Day. College Signing Day is part of Destination College, the city’s week-long celebration to encourage students to pursue and complete some form of higher education.
On Signing Day, to celebrate students commitments to higher education, city residents will show their support by wearing college apparel. While in Texas, the First Lady will join in the celebrations by wearing her college t-shirt to encourage young people to take charge of their futures and complete an education beyond high school. Join in and encourage others to show their support by taking a photo in you college T-shirt and share it with the hashtag #ReachHigher.
Help First Lady Michelle Obama Encourage Students to Reach Higher
Published on May 2, 2014
Join First Lady Michelle Obama highlight the importance of pursuing and completing some form of higher education by wearing your college t-shirt. Take picture and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with the hashtag #ReachHigher.
College Signing Day highlights the work that the First Lady has been doing across the country to help inspire more young people to reach higher and to rally the country around the President’s “North Star” goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. Today, she will be giving that effort a name and an aspiration: The First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative.
- Sign-Up for Updates and learn more about the initiative atReachHigher.gov
- Follow @ReachHigher on Twitter
- Follow @ReachHigher2020 on Instagram
Reach Higher for College
It’s easy to talk about the importance of college. But some folks really walk the walk.
I had the thrilling opportunity to meet some of them a few years ago, when I joined the college signing day at YES Prep in Houston, Texas. As I told the audience that day, I was moved nearly to tears as students announced their college plans to a cheering stadium, and signed letters committing to their college. It was the kind of unbridled enthusiasm we usually reserve for sporting events – and yet it was also like a family reunion. It was overwhelming.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama will take that experience to a whole new level when she gives a name to her college access initiative, Reach Higher, at the culmination of a city-wide college celebration in San Antonio, Texas. All week, the entire city has been focused on the vital importance of getting a college degree. Today, the First Lady will witness an auditorium full of high school seniors committing to entering and completing college.
Their embrace of that goal is part of changing our country’s future. A generation ago, our young people were first in the world in their college completion rate – but now we are 12th in the world. President Obama has set a goal of reclaiming our world leadership.
And we are seeing some really important progress. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of announcing our new cohort high school graduation rate, which at 80% is the highest in US history. And last month, we learned that attainment of college degrees last year saw its biggest rise since 2008.
These improvements are badly needed and long in coming. African-American, Latino and low-income students have helped to drive many recent increases in high school graduation and college-going – but they still don’t have the same opportunities, or the same success rates, as many other students. The need for equitable opportunities has always been pressing – but is even more so as we project that this fall, America’s public school students will for the first time be mostly nonwhite. We are working hard to ensure stronger opportunities – but we have a long way to go.
And college matters in a way that it never has before – because without some postsecondary education, there are very few opportunities in today’s knowledge-based economy.
The First Lady understands this at her core. Fighting for and committing to getting a great education isn’t some intellectual exercise for the First Lady. She lived this experience on Chicago’s South Side. Her parents didn’t have a college education, but they pushed her and her brother Craig to work hard in high school and concentrate on getting a college degree. She pushed herself to study as hard as possible – benefiting from the encouragement of those who supported her, and pushing past the doubts of those who didn’t.
So when students hear from her, when she tells her own story of perseverance in high school, in college, in law school – they listen. Because they understand that she’s not that different from any of them. All those struggles, whether it was picking classes, navigating student loans, or even just knowing the right sized sheets to bring that first day of college – she’s faced them, persevered, and been successful thanks to getting a great education. And she wants to make sure others understand how to navigate that path.
So I feel really lucky to have her as a better partner to inspire students across the country and push them to reach higher and commit to postsecondary education. In San Antonio, she won’t just be celebrating the importance of the college-going culture in one city, but the college-going culture she’s trying to create across the country. Her story, her candor, and her energy ensure that young people across this country will reach higher – and will achieve more.
“Education is the key to success for so many kids. And my goal specifically is to reach out directly to young people and encourage them to take charge of their futures and complete an education beyond high school.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama, January 16, 2014
Reaching the “North Star” by 2020
Published on Jan 16, 2014
The First Lady is working to rally the country around the President’s “North Star” goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. Reaching that goal begins with each of us doing our part as parents, students, educators, and citizens. There is something that each and every one of us can do in our communities to help make sure more our kids realize their potential and make their way into higher education.
The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady’s effort to inspire every student in American to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.
n today’s economy, a high school diploma just isn’t enough. Students have to reach higher, which is why the First Lady is working to rally the country around the President’s “North Star” goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
The Reach Higher initiative will help make sure all students understand what they need to complete their education, including:
- Exposing students to college and career opportunities
- Understanding financial aid eligibility that can make college affordability a reality
- Encouraging academic planning and summer learning opportunities
- Supporting high school counselors who can help more kids get into college
Show your support: Take a photo in your college T-shirt and Instagram it, Facebook it or Tweet it with the hashtag #ReachHigher.
The College Scorecard makes it easier for students and families to search for a college that provides a good value. It includes essential information about a particular college’s cost, its graduation rates and the average amount its students borrow, all in an easy-to-read format. It is designed to help you compare colleges and choose one that is well-suited to your individual.
The Net Price Calculator Center provides an easy tool to allow students and families to enter information about themselves and find out the net price of any given college- that is, the price after subtracting the scholarships and grants a student are likely to receive.
College Navigator is an interactive website that provides detailed information about different institutions, including programs and majors, admissions considerations and more.
Many colleges and universities have adapted a shopping sheet that provides personalized information on financial aid and net costs as well as general information on institutional outcomes — all in a standardized format. This tool provides an easy way to make clear comparisons among financial aid offers from different schools
Navigate the financial aid process and make informed decisions about paying for college. This website provides straightforward and easy-to-understand information about planning and paying for college. The site combines content and interactive tools from several Department of Education websites.
The First Lady on the Power of Education
First Lady Michelle Obama tells students that no matter what path they choose or what dreams they have, they must do whatever it takes to continue their education past high school.
Taking Action to Expand College Opportunity
President Obama believes that to lead the world in the share of college graduates by 2020, we can and must be doing more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating.
A World Class Education for Every Student in America
Learn more about the President’s plan to equip all Americans with the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.
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