Thirty-three Utah high schools will have a full-time, permanent college access advisor this fall, the Utah Board of Regents announced at its meeting at Utah Valley University.
The near-peer college access advisor will help students register for and complete college entrance exams, submit college applications, apply for scholarships and financial aid, and connect them to first year experience programs to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college. High schools with a college access advisor are anticipated to see the college enrollment rates of their graduates increase 5 to 9 percent.
“We are very pleased to announce the expansion of the college access advising program, which has been proven to transform the ability of Utah high school students to access college,” said Dave Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education. “We look forward to working with the Legislature this session to make college dreams a reality for more Utah students.”
Under the direction of the Board of Regents, every high school in Utah will have a full-time, permanent college access advisor by the 2021-2022 school year, contingent on legislative funding. As the program is implemented across the state, it will be regionally integrated into local public colleges and universities to tie in with their programming and college access efforts.
To fund this initial expansion, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education has reprioritized $1 million of existing funds.
Dr. Rich K. Nye, Ogden School District Superintendent, added, “Ogden School District is excited for two of our schools to participate in this initial expansion. Having a person on the ground, full-time, helping students navigate college admissions and the financial aid process will be instrumental to getting more of our students connected to college opportunities. Our students, particularly those who are underserved or who would be first in their family to go to college, will especially benefit from this effort.”
This statewide college access advising program expands the Utah College Advising Corps at the University of Utah, which was initially established in 2007 under a joint grant from the Board of Regents and the University of Utah from the Jack Kent Cook Foundation. The program has been in 12 high schools for nearly 11 years, 11 high schools in Salt Lake County and one in St. George.
It is anticipated that the following high schools will have full-time college access advisors for 2019-20 school year: