Many students at Crookston High School fill out college applications during Minnesota College Application Week with the support of the Achieve More Initiative.

Minnesota College Application Week has been proclaimed a success with the help of the Achieve More Initiative. Janessa DeBoer, who works in the Center for Adult Learning, led the effort and reports that 39 students in the Crookston High School completed college applications and some 40 parents attended parents Night on Thursday, November 15.                                    
The goal was to have more students applying to college in their senior year. Students could apply to any two-year or four-year college/university or training program in which they were interested. Parents Night helped answer questions surrounding the financial, social, and academic aspects of attending a post-secondary institution. More than 50 institutions of higher education waived their application fees during the week to encourage students to complete an application.

During the week’s events, prizes were given away to students including a 32-inch television, two printers, and a number of gift cards.
A competition designed around the theme “I want to go to college because…” was won by Ms. Swanson’s and Ms. Darco’s classroom. The students won based on a poster, participation in College Application Week, and by wearing college apparel. They were awarded a Happy Joe’s pizza party.

Last year, as part of a national initiative through the American Council on Education, Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed the second week of November Minnesota College Application Week.  This week will provide a framework for high schools and postsecondary institutions to collaborate in a concentrated effort to engage and inform underrepresented students (first generation college students, students of color, and low-income students) about the college exploration and application process. While much of the focus of College Application Week is geared toward first-generation, low-income students, all students are encouraged to participate in events to help them explore and prepare for postsecondary education.

Achieve More emerged from the regional IMPACT 20/20 Education Task Force’s priority initiative to increase high school graduation rates and encourage more students to consider attending college.   Launched in fall 2012, the project is a collaborative effort among the Center for Adult Learning (CAL), the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and the Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce.  Achieve More consists of two major components, UMC’s current College and Career Preparation 101, aimed at grades 8‐12, and Junior Achievement, which returns to the Crookston School District for grades 3‐7.