Archived Information

HIGH HOPES for College for America's Youth

"I also ask this Congress to support our efforts to enlist colleges and universities to reach out to disadvantaged children starting in the sixth grade so that they can get the guidance and hope they need so they can know that they, too, will be able to go on to college."

--President Clinton, State of the Union address, January 27, 1998     

The Urgent Need for High Hopes: College graduates can expect to earn at least $600,000 more over their lifetime than high school graduates. This amount has doubled in the past fifteen years and is expected to grow, making college education more important than ever before. [Census Bureau, 1993] However, high-achieving students from low-income families are five times less likely to attend college than students from high-income families. [National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS) 1998]

The High Hopes Initiative: President Clinton recently announced High Hopes for College -- an initiative that will inspire more young people to have high expectations, to stay in school and study hard, and to go to college. This initiative, which is moving through Congress with bipartisan support, makes a long-term investment (starting with $140 million in FY99) to promote partnerships between colleges and middle or junior high schools in low-income communities. Through High Hopes, children would receive the support they need starting in 6th or 7th grade and continuing through high school graduation, as well as early notification of their eligibility for student financial aid.

High Hopes would provide 6-year grants, through a competitive process, to support locally designed partnerships aimed at increasing college attendance by low-income youth. While High Hopes partnerships will reflect each community's needs and resources, to be most effective, the programs would be based on the following proven strategies:

High Hopes Complements Other Early Intervention Programs. High Hopes is different from TRIO and other early intervention and mentoring programs -- High Hopes starts early and stays with children through high school with comprehensive services, it works with entire grades of children rather than pulling out a select few, and it is aimed at creating a new national ethic that all colleges have a responsibility to partner with low-income middle schools.

Broad Support for High Hopes: The High Hopes initiative, a top priority for the Administration, has strong support in Congress and from a broad range of colleges and universities, education associations and community organizations. Endorsements include:

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