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ACT Honors Urban Schools for Helping Students Pursue Postsecondary Success

  • In the past year, Forest Hill High School in Mississippi’s Jackson Public Schools helped 450 students complete college applications with their “College Countdown Mississippi” campaign. For their efforts, they were one of 19 high schools named 2021 Schools of Excellence by the American College Application Campaign (ACAC).

    As part of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, the ACAC is a national effort to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families pursuing a college degree or other higher education opportunities.

    Now in its third year, the campaign selects Schools of Excellence based on students’ success and being an exemplary model for a state’s application campaign.

    “We’re proud the Schools of Excellence are helping to remove the barriers to postsecondary education access that often drive income inequalities,” said Lisa King, director of ACAC. “In the face of so many challenges that students and educators continue to experience, it’s encouraging to see the support from everyone who played a role in making the Schools of Excellence leaders in the college-going effort.”

    Each year, ACAC works with coordinators in every state and the District of Columbia to host college application events and reach students in their schools and communities, encouraging them to apply to college. Since the campaign began in 2005, 3.9 million students have submitted 6.4 million applications.

    In addition to Forest Hill High School, Johnson Senior High School in St. Paul, Minn.; Wichita High School in Kansas; and Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., were also named 2021 Schools of Excellence.