Statewide Campaign Kicks Off College Application Drive

Washington High School Seniors Launch College Application Efforts


In conjunction with the Arizona College Application Campaign, a statewide effort with the goal of ensuring every high school senior completes at least one college application, WHS seniors will press that “Submit” button to the colleges of their choice on November 17-20.

Under the guidance of Washington High School’s counseling staff, WHS seniors will visit the campus computer labs after school.  As an incentive to seniors, those who complete the process will be entered into a drawing to win one of 10 prom tickets for this Spring’s event.

“We are excited about the opportunity to make the college application process a priority for every WHS senior,” said Sheryl Baker, Washington High School’s counseling department chair. “We know that those students who earn a college degree have a lifetime of greater economic security than those who don’t attend college.”

The campaign, organized by the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, aims to build a college-going community, one high school and one student at a time.  Last year, eight high schools participated in the pilot program, with nearly 1,000 seniors submitting college applications – 444 of them being first-time applicants. This year, 50 high schools representing more than 14,000 seniors are participating in the Campaign.

A special focus of the campaign is placed on students who would be the first in their families to attend college, those who are low-income, and others who believe college is unachievable or unnecessary. Eighty percent of the participating high schools are considered low-income, or Title I.

Arizona has some of the lowest college-going and college-attainment rates in the country, with about 54 percent of seniors going onto college and only 26 percent of Arizonans over 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“We need to improve those statistics,” said Dr. April L. Osborn, Executive Director of the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. “The fiscal case for attending college is clear:  Unemployment rates are cut in half and college graduates earn, on average, 80 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.”

While Washington High School graduates currently enroll in post-secondary opportunities in large numbers—90% of graduates from the class of 2013 pursued some sort of educational experience after high school, including college, military, and trade schools—we believe that we can put college within the reach of every senior.  Our investment in students’ education will pay great dividends.