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Congressional Resolutions Designate November as National College Application Month

Federal Action Bolsters Efforts by College-Going Advocacy Groups Working With Students

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20, 2020 — Both houses of the U.S. Congress have designated November as National College Application Month to remind students that they can’t let the pandemic cause further disruptions and barriers to their college-going journey. COVID-19 continues to overshadow the college-going process with fewer students applying to college and completing the FAFSA when compared to a year ago.

On Thursday, November 19, Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced the measure in the Senate; in the House of Representatives, Representatives Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) introduced it.

The American College Application Campaign (ACAC), an initiative of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and Reach Higher thank members of Congress for their resolutions declaring November as National College Application Month.

ACAC Director Lisa Sommer King said, “November is a perfect time for students, parents, and educators to focus on moving ahead with college applications. While we’ve had many disruptions in our lives, the congressional resolutions and the support from our allies in this work shows that we’re coming together to remind students—especially Black, Native American, Latinx, and first-generation students—that planning for the future must go on, even during the current challenges.”

The bipartisan, joint resolutions state, “the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment rate for young adults with a bachelor’s degree and the employment rate for young adults whose highest credential is a high school diploma differ by 20 percentage points, which has widened exponentially as a result of the coronavirus.” The full resolution can be found here (Senate) and here (House).

“Applying to college should be a fundamentally student-centered process,” noted Angel B. PĂ©rez, CEO, NACAC. “Congressional recognition of the significance of the college application process helps raise awareness of the promise of higher education, the disparities in equitable access to college, and the supports needed to ensure that students can make successful transitions.”

During this unprecedented season, it is critical we help students understand the choices available to them so that they make informed decisions about life after high school. School counselors and educators can tap into a variety of resources provided by ACAC, NACAC and Reach Higher to support students in their postsecondary planning and guide students through the college-going process.

Stephanie Owens, director of programming, Reach Higher at the Common App, said, “Education is the single most important investment one can make for their future and it gives you the opportunity to meet people with different backgrounds and open your mind to critical thinking.”

The three organizations stress the need for school districts and community members to talk to students about the importance of education beyond high school, to organize activities—whether in person or virtual—to support students through the college-going process, to celebrate the important milestones for the Class of 2021 like applying to college or filling out the FAFSA, and to provide a sense of normalcy amid uncertainty.

About the American College Application Campaign

The American College Application Campaign® (ACAC) is a national initiative designed to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families who pursue a postsecondary degree. The purpose is to assist high school seniors as they navigate the college application and admissions process and ensure each participating student submits at least one admissions application.

About ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations and working learners. Through purposeful investments, employee engagement, and thoughtful advocacy efforts, the Center supports innovative partnerships, actionable research, initiatives, campaigns, and programs to further ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.

About Reach Higher

Reach Higher, started by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her time at the White House, works to inspire every student in the U.S. to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, a four-year college or university, or in the military. Reach Higher continues to help underrepresented students navigate the college-going process by raising awareness about helpful tools and resources; meeting students where they are and tailoring technical assistance to meet their unique needs, and building the capacity of the school counseling profession.