College Access (2011)

BACKGROUND:
Research showed that postsecondary education was the single most important investment that individuals could make in themselves and that society could make in its citizens. In 2002, nine of 10 students expected to participate in postsecondary education, and eight of 10 expected to attain a bachelor’s or higher degree. It was clear that regardless of income level, America’s young people dreamt big dreams and recognized that postsecondary education was a key to achieving their dreams. However, despite these high aspirations, low-income and first-generation students were underrepresented on college campuses. The reasons varied, but key barriers included affordability, a lack of college-going knowledge and preparation, expectations, as well as guidance and encouragement. 

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVE:
The campaign aimed to help raise awareness–particularly among low-income Americans and underrepresented populations–about their options for attending college and to outline the information “roadmap” to success. The long-term goal was for more low-income students to seek information about college, have better academic preparation, apply to college, seek financial aid, and enroll in postsecondary institutions. At KnowHow2GO.org, visitors could learn the steps they needed to take to get to college.

TARGET AUDIENCES:

  • Primary: low- and lower-middle-income students in grades 7-10

KEY MESSAGE: 
Beyond good grades, there are eight action steps you need to take to get to college. 

DONATED MEDIA:
Over $185 million in donated media support from 2007-2011. 

MEASURABLE RESULTS:
A national tracking survey of the target audience of students conducted between 2007 and 2011 found:

  • Expectations of getting a college degree had grown: a higher proportion of respondents said they were “very likely” to get a four-year college degree, from 51 percent in 2007 to 63 percent in 2011.
  • More students were “very confident” they were doing the things they needed to do to get to college, from 42 percent in 2007 to 54 percent in 2011. 
  • There had been a significant increase of students who said they were “very” or “somewhat” familiar with the courses they needed to take in order to get into college, from 70 percent in 2007 to 82 percent in 2011.
  • More students report that they were “regularly” taking steps to prepare for college, from 26 percent in 2007 to 34 percent in 2011.

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