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2021 Senior Transition Kickoff!

Greetings! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT) commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. In this edition, we are focusing on supporting students with navigating the Federal Aid Student Aid (FAFSA) verification process and Senior Transition Kickoff.

Research shows that low income students are often selected for verification more frequently than their higher income peers, and for some, this process often delays their ability to matriculate in the postsecondary program of their choice. Especially as the pandemic’s impact on physical and mental health, financial security, and continues. Students who are flagged for verification often need a caring adult to support through the process. We’ve partnered with OneGoal and SUNY Buffalo to create From FAFSA to Funded: Helping Students Navigate FAFSA Verification presentation. We encourage you to watch and share with your team members who are supporting seniors on their transition journeys. Now, you can also see which seniors that applied to CUNY have been flagged for verification on your school dashboards. Check your schools Dashboard and follow-up with students who have been flagged.  Additionally, uAspire is leading a College Cost Calculator Training on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 12pm, sign-up to learn more about how you can use this FREE financial aid comparison tool with your students. 

Last but not least, we are coordinating a Senior Transition Kickoff from April 19-30, to encourage and motivate seniors to complete their next steps. We aim to provide outreach directly to students via text alerts and host student facing events that will help seniors make a strong postsecondary decision and transition. Some of the events include FAFSA completion events in different 10 languages, skill building workshops, navigating support for students with IEPs and CUNY program orientations. Please share this 2021 Senior Transition Kickoff flyer with students and encourage them to register at http://bit.ly/SeniorTransitionKickoff21We also need your support with updating your seniors information on your school’s dashboard so they can receive automated motivational messages to help them prepare for a 1-on-1 meeting with staff at your school. Please note that only school members from your team who have been granted access can see and edit student information. Reach out to your CCPT point if you have questions.

Huge thank you for continuously building a learning environment virtually and in person where students can continue to pursue their postsecondary dreams! 

Apr. To-Do List:

✓ Use the FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their financial aid forms. Refer to more resources here
✓ Share this flyer with FAFSA completion/ Financial Aid workshops in 10 different languages with students and families. 
✓ Encourage students to participate in the 2021 Senior Transition Kickoff and share the flyer
✓ Review your school’s dashboards to see which CUNY applicants have been flagged for verification and to update your seniors information to receive next step text alerts.
✓ Meet with Seniors 1:1 and support them with advocacy calls for opportunity programs, verification process and assist eligible students in beginning to fill out the NYS DREAM Act eligibility application (which will need to be finalized once students have graduated and can submit evidence of graduation).
✓ Review the 1:1 to Support Your Postsecondary Decision chapter in the Postsecondary Milestones Toolkit for suggested Decision Campaign activities and resources.
✓ Visit the CUNY Future Student Enrollment Guide to support admitted students with financial aid, advisement, and support programs.
✓ Plan and execute junior 1:1 meetings to share the action plan for a successful application process next fall.
✓ Review the 1-1 to Support Your Postsecondary Decision chapter in the Postsecondary Milestones Toolkit for suggested Decision Day  activities and resources.

News you can use Bulletin:

✎The SEE Summit is a national social justice summit envisioned and led by students from districts across the country. The free virtual event will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2021 and is open to the public.  
✎ The New York Times is seeking college application essays about money, work, or social class. Students can submit their essays for potential publication by Monday, April 26, 2021 and writers will be paid the paper’s normal freelance rate.
Reach Higher’s Emergency Grant application is now open until Friday, June 25, 2021 (or whenever 2,000 applications have been submitted – whichever comes first). The application takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and if accepted, students can expect payment in 1-3 business days.
✎ New York Attorney General Letitia James along with attorneys general from 22 other states are calling on U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona to further address student loan debt.
✎ A powerful essay written by a New York City Department of Education high school librarian living and working in Queens, New York. 

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Supporting Multilingual Learners/English Language Learners and their Families

Happy Spring! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. We know your offices must be a buzz with schools reopening and supporting seniors as they prepare to transition. We hope to bring you some ease by sharing some citywide resources for students. In this edition, we are focusing on supporting Multilingual Learners/English Language Learners (MLs/ELLs) and their families with Postsecondary Planning.

We’ve partnered with several Community Based Organizations to host FAFSA completion/ Financial Aid workshops in 10 different languages in the evenings and weekends of the next few weeks. Please help spread the word by sharing this flyer with students and families you know need the extra support with the Financial Aid Process in their home language. 

Additionally, the Division of Multilingual Learners in partnership with Global Kids is hosting a Spring Break Global Ready Academy for high school Multilingual Learners/English Language Learners (MLs/ELLs). The academy includes four virtual sessions with an opportunity to build community with other students, access resources, and strategies to support their postsecondary plans. The sessions will take place on March 29, March 30, March 31, and April 1. Encourage students to complete the student interest form by March 26. To learn more, please refer to the promotional flyer. For questions, please reach out to DML@schools.nyc.gov.

Thank you for always sharing resources with your students. We wish you a restful and energizing Spring Break! 

Apr. To-Do List:


✓ Use the FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their financial aid forms. Refer to more resources here.
✓ Share this flyer with FAFSA completion/ Financial Aid workshops in 10 different languages with students and families.
✓ Encourage MLs/ELLsstudents to sign-up for the Spring Break Global Ready Academyby March 26.
✓ Review the Hub Supervisor Job Description and apply and/or share with qualified applicants before April 1st. 
✓ Support seniors with advocacy calls for opportunity programs, verification process and assist eligible students in beginning to fill out the NYS DREAM Act eligibility application (which will need to be finalized once students have graduated and can submit evidence of graduation).
✓Visit the CUNY Future Student Enrollment Guide to support admitted students with financial aid, advisement, and support programs.
✓ Plan and execute junior 1:1 meetings to share the action plan for a successful application process next fall.

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ Download the NYCDOE Match Tool pre-populated with your Junior class. This tool can support your juniors with finding the best match schools/programs to apply to. Please note DOE Login is required to access student data.
✎ Share these “12 questions every student should ask their School Counselor” in 9 DOE languages. 
✎ TheDream.US Director of Advocacy, Communications and Development Gaby Pacheco wrote a Miami Herald op-ed calling on the U.S. Congress to pass legislation authorizing citizenship for DREAMers.
✎ The New York Times is seeking college application essays about money, work, or social class. Students can submit their essays for potential publication here. The deadline is April 26, and writers will be paid the paper’s normal freelance rate.✎ APIA Scholars President Noel Harmon wrote a statement about why this is the moment to stand up and be a part of the solution to end violence and racist acts against members of the Asian and Pacific Islander American community. Additional resources from National College Attainment Network (NCAN)below:

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Gearing up for College Bridge for All!

Greetings! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. In this edition, we are focusing on College Bridge for All. 

Across the country, between 10 – 40% of students experience “summer melt”, a phenomenon where college-intending students do not enroll. This rate is especially high among low-income, first-generation students. In New York City, 28% of students who apply to CUNY do not enroll at any college. We can prevent this from happening by encouraging New York City Alumni to become bridge coaches to support the class of 2021. 

The College and Career Planning team in partnership with CUNY, intends to offer an expanded, city-wide model of College Bridge for All this summer that will support all seniors not otherwise served by another program pending budget and capacity. We do not advise that high schools set aside funds at this time to pay for a Bridge Coach. We will provide additional information as it becomes available prior to our summer programming.

In preparation, we will be screening applicants, please help us recruit stellar NYC alumni. Enclosed please find the 2021 Bridge Coach Job Description and application link. Deadline to apply is March 17th. Unlike previous years, Bridge Coaches will be matched to graduating seniors instead of participating schools. We will share more information soon. We are also seeking Hub Supervisors to supervise and support Bridge Coaches. Review the Hub Supervisor Job Description and apply and/or share with qualified applicants before April 1st. This is a per-session opportunity. 

We thank you in advance for helping us spread the word and participating in this citywide effort!

End of Mar. To-Do List:


✓  Recruit stellar NYC alumni for the 2021 Bridge Coach Job and share application by March 17th.
✓ Review the Hub Supervisor Job Description and apply and/or share with qualified applicants before April 1st
✓ Review College Access for All–High School funding Galaxy deadlines and procedures. The next date to watch for is March 18th when most budget modifications are due.
✓ Request accommodations for students with IEPs and ELLs four weeks prior to the SAT administration.   
✓ Remind juniors to set up and link their College Board and Khan Academy accounts.
✓ Order the exams for SAT School Day. Additional details are available here
✓ Plan and execute junior 1:1 meetings to share the action plan for a successful application process next fall.
✓ Use the FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their financial aid forms. Refer to more resources here.
✓ Support seniors with making best academic and financial fit postsecondary decisions by May. Use this citywide match tool to compare graduation rates, the award letter comparison tool to assess affordability and consult with this loan guide
✓ Support seniors with advocacy calls for opportunity programs, verification process and assist eligible students in beginning to fill out the NYS DREAM Act eligibility application (which will need to be finalized once students have graduated and can submit evidence of graduation).

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ A change in federal law has made more students temporarily eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This Electronic Announcement provides information about which students may be eligible under the new, temporary exemptions, what information students or State SNAP agencies may request from institutions of higher education, and where institutions of higher education can get more information.
✎ Watch the 30min “highlight reel” of our 2 recent sessions on 1-on-1 support for seniors and juniors, HERE with cue points to skip ahead to each tool showcased.
✎ Share your expertise at the Guiding the Way to Inclusion conference in July or the NACAC National Conference in September! Submit a session proposal or serve as a reviewer
✎ The New York Times is seeking College Essay submissions on topics of money, work and or social class for publication. Encourage your seniors to submit.  
✎ “12 questions every student should ask their School Counselor” in 9 DOE languages, from our partners in the Division of Multilingual Learners. 
✎ Reach Higher is seeking nominations for students and educators to highlight on social media.

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Preparing Students for Transitions and Celebrating Black Lives!

Greetings! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. In this edition, we are focusing on celebrating Black Lives and sharing a professional development series to support juniors and seniors with transitioning. 

Throughout the Spring Semester, our team will be hosting a virtual Strong Match Series to support you with individualized postsecondary planning for your juniors and seniors. The series will provide best practices on providing 1:1 support to help juniors build strong match lists and preparing to submit strong postsecondary applications in the fall of 2021. In addition to delivering 1:1 supports for seniors to make a strong match decision, and navigate the complexities of transition and matriculation. The first sessions will take place Friday, February 26 and Monday, March 1st. Sign-up to receive follow-up information about the series.

As Black History Month comes to close, we want to spread the message of courage and commitment. It should go without saying that Black History goes beyond the month of February. There is a bigger call to action for all of us: continuing to remind our Black students that they matter and that their postsecondary planning dreams matter. We encourage you to continue advocating, incorporating literature and stories that resonate with our Black students inside and outside the classroom, having candid conversations about race with colleagues and most importantly; to continue to push for a more equitable society. A special recognition to all of our Black educators in the field, we honor you and value your contributions. Thank you for all that you do for our students! 

Mar. To-Do List:

Register and attend the Spring 2021: Strong Match Series. At least one team member from every high school is encouraged to attend.
✓ Review College Access for All–High School funding Galaxy deadlines and procedures. The next date to watch for is March 18th when most budget modifications are due.
✓ Request accommodations for students with IEPs and ELLs four weeks prior to the SAT administration.   
✓ Order the exams for SAT School Day. Additional details are available here
✓ Use the FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their financial aid forms. Refer to more resources here.
✓Refer to Postsecondary Planning ToolkitCareer Panel Resource and Career Exploration Student Self Guided Workbooks (available in all 9 DOE languages) for lessons and activities.
✓ Highlight your Career Exploration and CTE Month activities on Social Media and your School website. Use the hashtags #FutureReadyNYC and Tag @NYCSchools. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting.
✓ Celebrate and talk to your students about Black History Month; discuss connections with current events, contributions of Black people in the U.S. and Black innovators around the world.

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced the elimination of application fees for high school seniors from low-income households applying to SUNY campuses. Beginning on March 1, students who financially qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs, whose household income does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, or are from foster families are eligible to apply to up to seven SUNY campuses through www.suny.edu/start, saving up to $350 in application fees per student.
✎ In honor of Black History Month and Career Exploration Month, check out this list of career opportunitiesand scholarships for Black/African Americans. 
✎ This article “America Needs More School Counselors” is a highly suggested read written by the CEO at National Association for College Admission Counseling.
A Washington Post analysis of federal data found that the Education Department has disproportionately selected students from majority-Black and Latino neighborhoods.
✎ Reach Higher is seeking nominations for students and educators to highlight on social media.

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Celebrating Career Exploration, Career Technical Education and Black History Month!

Greetings! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. In this edition, we focus on gearing up for Career Exploration/ Career Technical Education (CTE) Month in February, and SAT School Day in March-April.   

Starting on Monday February 1, the DOE will celebrate Career Exploration and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. We are kicking off the month with a series of virtual events, complete this registration to receive login information for virtual career panels to share with your high school students and families. The Division of Multilingual Learners (DML) is also hosting resume writing workshops and career panels in English, Haitian Creole, Spanish and Arabic. We encourage your school community to participate in these events and/or host your own activities for grades 9–12, refer to the Postsecondary Planning Toolkit for lesson plans. We invite you to highlight your school’s activities and seniors who have applied/matched to career programs on your school’s website and social media by using the following hashtag: #FutureReadyNYC. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting on social media.

Additionally, the DOE will continue to fund the SAT School Day administration for all students in grade 11 this spring. Be sure to review the P-Digest guidance on Extended-Use Building Permits as your school makes plans for testing. Due to budget constraints, the PSAT 10 will not be Centrally-funded this school year. English Language Learners (ELLs) and Students with Individualized Plans (IEPs) are eligible for SAT accommodations. ELLs are allowed 50% extended time. Work with your SAT School Day Coordinator to submit requests for your students through the SSD Online Portal four weeks before administration. Review deadlines here, order bilingual glossaries, print out and review test directions (available in 13 languages), with your ELLs before test day. For more information on SAT accommodations, refer to the College Board website.

We know these events are a huge undertaking so we thank you for always rising to the occasion to support our students in their postsecondary endeavors!

Feb. To-Do List:

Register and attend Office hours on 1/29 or 2/1 to learn more about the Funding through College Access for All–High School initiative. At least one team member from every high school is encouraged to attend.
✓ Submit budget proposal for College Access for All–High School funding by Feb. 5.
✓ Participate in Career Exploration and CTE Month throughout the month of Feb. Register student groups for career panels and workshops.
✓ Plan career exploration activities for all grades. Refer to Postsecondary Planning ToolkitCareer Panel resource and Career Exploration Student self guided Workbooks (available in all 9 DOE languages) for lessons and activities.
✓ Request accommodations for  students with IEPs and ELLs four weeks prior to the SAT administration.   
✓ Order the exams for SAT School Day. Additional details are available here
✓ Use the FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their financial aid forms. Refer to more resources here.
✓ With the CUNY deadline approaching on February 1st, review your CUNY application report and ensure students’ applications are complete (fee or waiver submitted, OSIS number on file, essay completed if applying to Queens, Baruch or Hunter). 
✓ Celebrate and talk to your students about Black History Month; discuss connections with current events, contributions of Black people in the U.S. and the world.

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ In honor of Black History Month and Career Exploration Month coming up, check out this list of career and scholarship resources for Black/African Americans.
✎ Access free academic and mental health resources that are available to staff, students, and families on the InfoHub.
✎ President Biden Lays Out Early Actions to Support Student Loan Borrowers, DREAMers, and Higher Ed.
✎ Reach Higher is seeking nominations for students and educators to highlight on social media.

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Thank you for being a beacon of light!✨

Happy 2021! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. In this edition, we focus on free postsecondary planning and mental health resources that are available to staff, students, and families.

It has been 15 days since we embarked on this new year and it already feels like so much has happened. During this time of civil unrest and healing, it is imperative that we continue to prioritize our wellness and tap in to mental health resources. We are also here to remind you that even when bad events occur, we can always choose to be a force of light. We can choose to have instrumental discussions with our students, while simultaneously seizing the opportunity to make this decade about wellness and innovation in order to rebuild a better school system and nation for our students. 

Today, and every day, we stand with you and our students. We stand in opposition to white supremacy culture, displayed so explicitly in the recent Capitol insurgency, and in the comparatively disproportionate police response to the Movement for Black Lives. Our mission is to keep our students’ futures at the forefront; thus, we cannot ignore the impact that systemic racism and current national events have on the lives and future plans of our students. 

In order for us to heal and reform systems, we have to acknowledge the deep-rooted racism in our country and remind ourselves that we can be a part of the solution by educating ourselves about anti-racist practices, checking our privilege, uplifting the voices of people of color, and increasing access and success in all post-secondary pathways. To this end, it is with great hope that we announced in the Principal’s Digest, that NYCDOE high schools are receiving funding through the College Access for All–High School initiative. Principals and/or College and Career designees should review the allocation summary and submit a budget proposal by February 5. The grant will be used to support schools’ capacity to provide high quality postsecondary planning experiences for all students with an emphasis on individualized support for 11th and 12th graders during spring semester. 

Lastly, we thank you for always serving as light workers and for choosing to “be a part of the change we want to see in the World”!

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you timely updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community. In this edition, we focus on gearing up for College Awareness Day.

College Awareness Day is an opportunity to remind students that higher education is attainable and to support 9th, 10th graders and middle schoolers with early awareness activities. As you prepare to close out for the holiday break, we encourage you to mark your calendars to participate in the Annual College Awareness Day on January 11, 2021. Activities can include asking staff to wear their alma mater gear, encouraging younger students to attend virtual tours, and/or inviting seniors to share their experiences of applying to postsecondary programs. We also invite you to highlight your School’s College Awareness Day activities and seniors who have applied /matched to programs on your school’s website and social media by using the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IApplied. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting on social media. 

As the year comes to a close, we would also like to thank you for your hard work! You carried the Class of 2020 through to success despite all the challenges we faced this year–we know you’ll do the same for 2021. We hope you have a peaceful holiday break and look forward to continuing working with you in the new year!

Jan. To-Do List:

✓ Register for the second Q&A session with Special Guest Michael Turner on Tuesday, January 19th from 2pm-3pm. The session is open to all staff supporting students with Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) completion. 

✓ Submit budget proposal for College Access for All–High School funding by Feb. 5.

✓ Group seniors by need and postsecondary plan and differentiate application and completion supports for students.

✓ Use the FAFSA guides and FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their financial aid forms.

✓ Ensure seniors have a completion status of 2 on FAFSA and TAP. Refer to more resources here.

✓ Review your CUNY application report and ensure students’ applications are complete (fee or waiver submitted, OSIS number on file, essay completed if applying to Queens, Baruch or Hunter). ✓ Talk to students about the attack on the U.S. Capitol with care and intention. Access other resources: 

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ NYCDOE press release announced a record-high of postsecondary enrollment in the Class of 2019. Graduation rate rises to 78.8 percent, increase of 10 percentage points since the start of the administration. The number of students enrolling in a two or four-year college program, as well as a vocational or public service program after graduation, has also reached an all-time high of 62.8%.

✎ SAT School Day/PSAT 10 Administration Notes: The DOE will continue to fund the SAT School Day administration for all students in grade 11 this spring. Due to budget constraints, the PSAT 10 will not be Centrally-funded this school year. 

✎ In February, the DOE will celebrate Career Exploration and Career and Technical Education® (CTE) Month. Refer to the Postsecondary Planning Toolkit for career exploration lessons and activities for grades 9–12. To receive login information for virtual career panels to share with your high school students and families, complete this registration by January 26. For more information, review this schedule and resource.

✎ Access free academic and mental health resources that are available to staff, students, and families on the InfoHub.

 ✎The stimulus bill, passed in late December, included big changes to the financial aid landscape: 

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Financial Planning Month is almost here!

Greetings! The College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commits to providing you bi-weekly updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community, no matter where you are working from. In this edition, we focus on what your school team can do to help students with financial planning and applying for financial aid. All of our students need support with creating a financial plan and building money management skills regardless of their postsecondary goals.

To that end, we are dedicating the month of November to highlight the importance of financial planning. Applying for financial aid is part of the financial planning process and a crucial step for students applying to college. As stated in the Education Trust New York Financial Aid toolkit, extensive research shows that high schools play an important role in helping low-income, immigrants, and first-generation students complete the FAFSA and other state financial aid applications. […] Let’s continue to encourage our students to complete these important forms to ensure they receive every single dollar of the financial aid for which they qualify.

Use the How-to Guide for High School Students on FAFSA to support seniors in completing the FAFSA and TAP. Make a copy of this FAFSA Deck Template to help you conduct financial aid presentations to students and families. Additionally, college and career point designees can access real-time FAFSA and TAP completion data for all graduating seniors in the FAFSA Completion Data Portal until June 30, 2021. We encourage your school teams to look at this completion data with a critical eye, and follow up with the seniors who plan to pursue college and need to complete financial aid forms. Sometimes our implicit bias can sneak in– when deciding which students to nudge, be sure to consider how you are systematically supporting and following up with all students, not some. We have to hold ourselves accountable to providing the same level of support and commitment to all seniors. For students who plan to pursue the military and/or enter the workforce, this is the time to help them think about their budget and financial plan after high school.As you continue to support students through this application season, refer to the Milestone toolkit.

Remember, that our duty as educators is to help students tap into their magic and help them articulate their stories. If you need a little inspiration, watch Dr. Chris Emdin video and share it with your students! Below you will find additional resources to support students on their

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Gearing up for Application Season!

Welcome back to a new school year! We know that this year is undoubtedly unlike any other year and that many of you are still adjusting to hybrid schedules. We would like to start by expressing our gratitude, whether you are in a school, a google classroom, an office or at home; thank you for your service. We could not support the journeys of our students without you!

The reality is that preparing students for their postsecondary success cannot be compromised by a challenging fiscal climate or the pandemic especially for our students of color, first-generation, and low-income students who pursue postsecondary education. Thus, we, the College and Career Planning Team (CCPT), commit to providing you bi-weekly updates, student-level data tools and a College and Career Planning Point to support your school community, no matter where you are working from. In this newsletter, we are providing you with updates on Application Completion resources. 

As you gear up for the application completion season, be sure your students take advantage of the CUNY application fee waivers! The waiver codes were posted in the Principal’s Dashboard on InfoHub last week. Seniors should be making and revising a strong match list of postsecondary programs they will apply to, finalizing personal essays, and beginning to submit applications. Encourage your students to watch then Future Ready Recordings and use this guide as they navigate their application process. To inform your planning for the year, check out the new 2020-21 planning calendar and Milestone toolkit. Additionally, refer to the New York State College Application Week toolkit to inform your activities with students throughout the month. Below you will find additional resources to support students on their journeys. We are looking forward to working with you this year! 

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Sept. 3 – Summer Update

Greetings! As you close out your summer break, our team is sending you one last summer update. Please note there will be no required action items on your end. This week’s final summer update highlights the importance of wellness, strength in community, and resources for students.

During these times of uncertainty, budget cuts, collective loss, fight for Black life and social justice, it is extremely important to keep our wellness and strength in community at the forefront. We must continue to fill our own cups by prioritizing our wellness and checking in with our loved ones. We also encourage you to check out the following virtual wellness resources: CDC – Mental Health Resources, Mental Health First Aid Resources, and Social Work Mental Health Resource Directory and share them with your students. 

Right alongside the uncertainty we are facing is the certainty that our job is to remind our students that their lives matter, affirm them in pursuing their purpose, and in accessing opportunities that will help them achieve their dreams. As part of this collective effort, the College Bridge For All Expansion Program will continue to run throughout the month of September; 2020 Graduates can continue to find and reach out to their College Bridge coaches for matriculation and transition support.  Additionally, last week we hosted the fourth Future Ready Summer Series live webinar for Classes of 2021 and 2022. The session helped students to brainstorm and articulate their personal essays and stories. Our special guest Eathan Sawyer, also known as the founder of The College Essay Guy, provided guidance on how to begin crafting their stories. Students who missed this session can watch the recording and check out the prior sessions as well.

Lastly, we want to close out the summer by reminding you of all that we have accomplished as a collective in the past two years. Watch our Level Up video which was showcased at a National Postsecondary Strategy Institute gathering last week to celebrate our collective work and collaboration across central teams. We could not have achieved this magic without you! So we hope the video serves as a reminder that our strength lies within our community and that we will continue to serve you and our students. We encourage you to stay connected via this listserv to learn about changes in the postsecondary planning landscape, professional development, and student opportunities. Below you will find more news updates, student and educator resources. We hope you have a restful Labor day weekend and look forward to working with you in the coming school year!

News you can use

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Aug 18 – Summer Update

Greetings! Although many of you are on summer break, our team is sending you timely updates via this email listserv to keep you informed about changes and current events happening in the postsecondary planning landscape. Please note there will be no required action items on your end. In this email, we are providing you with updates on the Future Ready Summer Series and resources to support students with telling their stories.

Last week, we hosted the third Future Ready Summer Series live webinar for Classes of 2021 and 2022. The session covered how students can have a conversation with the adults they trust in determining a postsecondary plan that works for them, financial aid information and financial planning tips. Students who missed this session can watch the recording and check out the prior sessions as well.

The final summer session of the Future Ready Summer Series will take place on Wednesday 08/29, Students can sign-up for updates. This session will help students articulate their stories and dreams when applying to colleges and career programs. Our special guest will be Eathan Sawyer, a nationally recognized college essay expert, who created the platform The College Essay Guy. Additionally, there are many other resources students can reference for guidance on crafting their story, for example BigFuture Essay articles, City College also has a list of guiding questions, and StoryCorps provides students with lessons and tips for effective interviews. Below you will find more news updates, student and educator resources. We hope you continue to have a restful summer!

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Aug 6 – Summer Update

Greetings! Although many of you are on summer break, our team is sending you timely updates via this email listserv to keep you informed about changes and current events happening in the postsecondary planning landscape. Please note that there will be no required action items on your end. In this email, we are providing you with updates on College Bridge For All Expansion, the Future Ready Summer Series and the HESC Excelsior Scholarship Application.

The College Bridge For All program is currently serving 425 Schools and has trained 198 college students to become College Coaches, who are currently supporting June and anticipated August graduates in our school-based program and citywide expansion program. The College Bridge For All coaches are doing outreach and working diligently to ensure our graduates have a smooth transition into college and postsecondary pathways. 2020 Graduates can use the following guide to get ready to meet with their coach. A special shout out to our coaches and graduates!

Additionally, the HESC Excelsior Scholarship Application is now available for students enrolling in SUNY or CUNY in the fall with some important caveats. As stated in the HESC Website, the “COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced state revenues and the processing of new applications is pending on Federal assistance. The Excelsior Scholarship awards may have to be reduced and/or prioritized for current recipients as provided for under the program.”

Last week, we hosted the second webinar of the Future Ready Summer Series for Classes of 2021 and 2022. The session informed students about support and opportunity programs across New York State. Students who missed this session can watch the recording and sign-up to learn about the next session on 08/12. Below are additional resources for students and educators.

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July 22 – Summer Update

Greetings! Although many of you are on summer break, our team is sending you timely updates via this email listserv to keep you informed about changes and current events happening in the postsecondary planning landscape. Please note there will be no required action items on your end. In this update, we are highlighting the release of the Graduate NYC report, the launch of the Future Ready Summer Series for rising seniors and juniors along with other summer enrichment activities for students.

Graduate NYC released an important report on The State of College Readiness and Degree Completion in New York with support from the DOE. The report highlights that “the percentage of college-ready NYC DOE high school graduates climbed to 71% in 2019—an increase of nearly 37 percentage points since 2010—closing in to within 4 percentage points of the NYC DOE’s Equity and Excellence goal of ensuring that three-quarters of its graduates are college ready (pg.11).”The report also notes that although the impact of COVID19 remains to be seen, there are several potential factors that may affect the postsecondary planning landscape long term. To this end, we must continue to inform our students of all their options and ensure that they have the guidance they need to make informed decisions after high school.

In the same vein, last week, we hosted the first webinar of the Future Ready Summer Series for Classes of 2021 and 2022. The session informed students on key factors to consider when creating a postsecondary list and encouraged students to use this Student Workbook to draft their initial list in preparation for the fall application season. Students who missed this session can watch the recording and sign-up to learn about the next session on 07/29. Below are additional resources for students and educators.

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July 8- Summer Update

We hope you are having a safe and restful summer! Although many of you are on summer break, our team will provide timely updates via this email listserv to keep you informed about changes and current events happening in the postsecondary planning landscape. Please note there will be no required action items on your end. In this update, we are highlighting the College Bridge for All Expansion, Future Ready Power Hour for Rising Seniors, and other summer enrichment activities for students.

The launch for the College Bridge for All Expansion is in full swing and coaches are doing their first wave of outreach to Class of 2020 seniors. Senior graduates who have not yet updated their information can verify their contact information by visiting bit.ly/classof2020nyc. Additionally, the first summer Future Ready Summer Series for Class of 2021 will also take place next Wednesday 7/15. If you are working during the summer, please encourage your rising seniors and their families to register. This series will provide rising seniors and juniors with guidance on how to create lists, find the right match when applying postsecondary pathways, tips on financial planning, essay writing and preparing the fall application season. 

Lastly, the Postsecondary Readiness Team within the Division of Multilingual Learners is providing a Summer Global Ready Academy for high school Multilingual Learners and English Language Learners (ELLs) to support their college and career journeys. This program is open to ELL students in 9-12 grades, encourage students to complete the interest form. Below are additional resources for students and educators.

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June 25 – Weekly Update

Congratulations on closing out another successful school year! We are beyond proud of the College and Career Planning Community, as you continuously rise above the occasion and demonstrate your commitment to ensuring every student graduates with a postsecondary plan. This year, you shifted to remote advising in a matter of weeks, participated in a citywide virtual Decision Campaign, met with all your seniors 1:1, tracked their plans in STARS for the first time ever, and encouraged students to complete the senior survey. Not to mention, all of the socio-emotional supports you continue to provide to students during these unprecedented times. We encourage you to celebrate your hard work and invite students to attend the citywide graduation celebration that will be held on June 30. We thank you for being essential workers to our students, and for always reminding them that their lives and dreams matter.

During the summer months, our team will provide timely updates via this email listserv to keep you informed even though there will be no required action on your end beyond June 30. Additionally, we will continue hosting Future Ready Power Hour virtual workshops for rising seniors and their families. Please encourage students to register so we can update them on upcoming summer dates. Students in the class of 2020 will also continue to receive support for a seamless transition to college and career through the expansion of College Bridge. The expansion of the College Bridge Program is a huge win for our students as it will provide a coach for every senior citywide from July through September to help navigate the necessary paperwork, academic, and social-emotional components of the transition to all postsecondary pathways.

By having every high school participate in this program, we can prevent our seniors from experiencing summer melt. Share this flyer and video to ensure your seniors complete this form to verify their contact information so that coaches can reach out to them over the summer. Moreover, the plans you document will help inform strategic support for your students through the College Bridge program. Please continue to confirm senior postsecondary plans up to and through June 30. Watch last week’s Virtual Office Hours which provided technical guidance on bulk upload of seniors’ postsecondary plans in STARS, if you are using it to track plans. Once, your school team has accounted and documented all of the senior plans, ask your seniors to complete the High School Senior Survey. Last but not least, before posting students’ accomplishments on your school website and social media accounts, ensure students have media consent forms. When highlighting seniors on social media use the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #NYCClassof2020.

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June 18 – Weekly Update

Greetings! This week’s updates focus on the expansion of College Bridge, bulk upload instructions for tracking students in STARS, and a reminder about the 2020 Senior Survey.

On Tuesday, we received a huge win for the class of 2020, in a press release, 
Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced the expansion of the College Bridge Program, a collaboration between CUNY and the New York City Department of Education to provide additional support to graduating seniors as they transition to college and career pathways. The program provides Class of 2020 seniors with near-peer mentors, paid college students, who help students navigate paperwork, financial aid decisions, and manage the necessary academic and social-emotional components of the transition to all postsecondary pathways. Be on the lookout for information for how your students can connect with their coaches and encourage your alumni students who may be interested to learn more about becoming a College Bridge Coach.

Last week, the Principal’s Digest provided updates on bulk upload of seniors’ postsecondary plans in STARS Client. Please continue to enter senior postsecondary plans in the STARS Postsecondary Tracker up to and through June 30. The plans you enter into STARS will help inform strategic support for your students through the College Bridge program from July through September. Once, your school team has accounted and documented all of the senior plans, ask your seniors to complete the High School Senior Survey. Details regarding the survey and its administration were also in the Principals Digest last week. 

You are in the homestretch of closing out another successful school year! We would like to express our gratitude for all your hard work this year in ensuring students have the supports and resources they need. Last but not least, before posting students’ accomplishments on your school website and social media accounts, ensure students have media consent forms. When highlighting seniors on social media use the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IDecided.

Weekly To-Do List:

✓ Staff: Refer to antiracist and other educator resources.
✓ Staff: Meet with 12 graders 1:1 and track their plans in STARs. Refer to the STARS Postsecondary Tracker FAQs for guidance. For technical support consult with the Postsecondary Tracker Wiki and contact your school BCO academic policy and systems lead.
✓ Staff: Consult with the Decision Day Campaign Toolkit for 2020 for resources to support and celebrate graduating seniors.
✓ Staff: Visit the TeachHub for Instructional Materials focused on College and Career Planning for grades 9-12. For Non-DOE staff, visit the RemoteCCP Resources Public Folder.
✓ Staff: Attend our weekly Virtual Office Hour next Wednesday at 2 pm.   
✓ Staff: Attend the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling Virtual Conference 2020.  
✓ 12 graders: Register for Future Ready Power Hours and other virtual events
✓ NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Updates: 

  • The TAP signature page has been updated to be more accessible for students and families. The form can be filled in, signed electronically, and sent to the email address listed on the form.
  • Sign-up to receive email notifications about Excelsior Application and visit the general COVID-19 FAQs.
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June 3 – Weekly Update

Greetings! This week’s update highlights our professional learning community, the importance of wellness, and reminding our students that they matter! 

Today and every day, we stand with you and our students. We stand with the Black community and proclaim that Black Lives Matter. Of the 1.1 million students we serve, students of color comprise the majority: 40.6 % are Latinx, 25.5% are Black, 16.2 % are Asian,  15.1% are White, and 2.4% identify themselves in other ways. Our mission is to keep our students’ futures at the forefront; thus, we cannot ignore the impact that systemic racism and current national events have on the lives and future plans of our students. COVID-19 has affected communities of color in disproportionate numbers and in the midst of this pandemic, Black people’s lives continue to be threatened at the hands of police brutality. In order for us to heal and reform systems, we have to acknowledge these deep-rooted issues in our country and remind ourselves that we can be a part of the solution by educating ourselves about anti-racist practices, checking our privilege, uplifting the voices of people of color, and increasing access and success in all postsecondary pathways.

The College and Career Planning Team continues in its commitment to creating system-wide change by removing barriers, supporting staff, and building partnerships to expand postsecondary access and success for all students. Access, equity, and success are at the foundation of our work. As educators, we have a responsibility to ensure our students feel heard, feel they belong, and most importantly, affirmed that their lives and their dreams matter.

This week the NYCDOE is devoting June 4th to professional development for school staff. As you continue to support students with postsecondary planning, we invite you to attend the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling Virtual Conference 2020.The conference is providing educational sessions focused on supporting students of color and many opportunities for expanding your network of resources. Additionally, join us next Wednesday (6/10) in our virtual office hours focused on summer melt. More than ever, it is crucial that we continue our journeys as antiracist educators, that we advocate, that we listen to our students, and remind them that their lives and dreams matter. And, of course, we must fill our own cups by prioritizing our wellness and checking in with our loved ones. 

Last but not least, many of our students are the first in their families to graduate high school with postsecondary plans, so we thank you for celebrating their accomplishments.  Before posting on your school website and on social media accounts, ensure students have media consent forms. When highlighting seniors on social media use the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IDecided.

Weekly To-Do List:

✓ Staff: Refer to antiracist and other educator resources.
✓ Staff: Meet with 12 graders 1:1 and track their plans in STARs. Refer to the STARS Postsecondary Tracker FAQs for guidance. For technical support consult with the Postsecondary Tracker Wiki and contact your school BCO academic policy and systems lead.
✓ Staff: Consult with the Decision Day Campaign Toolkit for 2020 for resources to support and celebrate graduating seniors.
✓ Staff: Visit the TeachHub for Instructional Materials focused on College and Career Planning for grades 9-12. For Non-DOE staff, visit the RemoteCCP Resources Public Folder.
✓ Staff: Attend our weekly Virtual Office Hour next Wednesday at 2 pm.   
✓ Staff: Attend the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling Virtual Conference 2020.  
✓ 12 graders: Register for Future Ready Power Hours and other virtual events
✓ NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Updates: 

  • The TAP signature page has been updated to be more accessible for students and families. The form can be filled in, signed electronically, and sent to the email address listed on the form.
  • Sign-up to receive email notifications about Excelsior Application and visit the general COVID-19 FAQs.

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May 28 – Weekly Update

Greetings, we hope you had a restful long weekend! This week’s update highlights the importance of supporting seniors with updating financial aid documents and financial resources. As the Class of 2020 moves closer to graduation and the future beyond, it is crucial to help them plan with affordability in mind. With so many unknowns in the postsecondary landscape right now, it is reassuring to know that students and families will receive relief funds and that they still have time to update their financial aid forms. 

Research shows that 90% of students that complete FAFSA enroll in college. Our team is working hard to send your schools the latest FAFSA and TAP completion reports via weekly emails. We encourage you and your school teams to use these completion reports to inform your conversations with seniors who need to update or complete financial aid forms. You can also watch this webinar onFinancial Management Advising for more tips. Refer students to the FAFSA guide; undocumented students should complete the Dream Act Eligibility Application for an opportunity to access state aid and watch the NYS Dream Act Tutorial by Unlocal.org for step by step guidance. Next week, we will host another Future Ready Power Hour student webinar focusing on Money Matters: Answering Financial Aid Questions.  

Additionally, since New York City is a universal-free-lunch district, many families regardless of immigration status or income level, will receive $420 per studentThese funds do not have to be repaid and students can use it to fund their educational aspirations. Moreover, CUNY will be distributing $118 million in CARES Act funding to eligible students. CUNY will determine student eligibility via their FAFSA and will notify them via CUNYFirst about their award amount. 

Once you have supported your students with their updating their financial aid forms and documented their plans, it is time to celebrate their accomplishments. We encourage you to highlight your students’ postsecondary decisions on your school’s website and social media by using the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IDecided. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting on social media.

Weekly To-Do List:

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May 19 – Weekly Update

Greetings! This weekly update focuses on the importance of tracking students’ postsecondary plans and resources to support practitioners. Last week, the principal’s hub included guidance on high schools documenting postsecondary plans for each senior in the STARS Postsecondary Tracker within a week of each student’s commitment until June 30. The STARS Postsecondary Tracker is a support tool for schools to document graduating seniors’ postsecondary decisions.

Refer to the STARS Postsecondary Tracker FAQs for guidance. For technical support with the STARS Postsecondary Tracker, consult with the Postsecondary Tracker Wiki and contact your school BCO academic policy and systems lead. You can also connect with your College and Career Planning team point for Decision Campaign supports. Now more than ever, our shared goal is to ensure that each senior in the Class of 2020 has a strong postsecondary plan for life after high school. 

Once you have supported your students with their postsecondary decisions and documented their plans, it is time to celebrate their accomplishments. We encourage you to highlight your students’ postsecondary decisions on your school’s website and social media by using the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IDecided. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting on social media. Thank you for helping our students bring their dreams to fruition, we wish you a strong week! 

Weekly To-Do List:

✓ HESC Update: The TAP signature page has been updated to be more accessible for students and families. The form can be filled in, signed electronically, and sent to the email address listed on the form.
✓ Staff: Meet with 12 graders 1:1 and track their plans in STARs.
✓ Staff: Consult with the Decision Day Campaign Toolkit for 2020 for resources to support and celebrate graduating seniors. 
✓ Staff: Visit the TeachHub for Instructional Materials focused on College and Career Planning for grades 9-12. For Non-DOE staff, visit the Remote CCP Resources Public Folder.
✓ Staff: Attend our weekly Virtual Office Hour this Wednesday at 2 pm.   
✓ Staff and Seniors: Visit the CUNY Future Student Enrollment Guide to support admitted students with financial aid, advisement, and support programs.
✓ Staff: Refer to NACAC’s list of institutions still accepting applications and this list of HEOP programs with spots still available. A special shoutout to Aaron Ray and the HEOP Professional Organization for compiling this list.  
✓ 12 graders: Register for Future Ready Power Hours and other virtual events

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May 13 – Weekly Update

Greetings! Last week, the College and Career Planning Team (CCP) began to schedule Decision check-ins with all schools throughout May and June, in order to support your work reaching all seniors for 1:1 conferences and tracking postsecondary decisions. Be sure to connect with your College and Career Planning team point for Decision Campaign supportsDuring this time, we also want to send affirming messages to seniors letting them know how proud we are, acknowledging their hard work and reminding them that we are here to support them. Therefore, we hosted a second Future Ready Power Hour focusing on CUNY Enrollment Updates for graduating seniors and anyone else who was interested. We encourage you to share the flyer for future sessions and the recordings with your students. 

This is the time to recognize all students’ postsecondary planswhether they are pursuing higher education, enlisting in the military, completing a vocational or trade program, or immediately seeking employment. Join us in celebrating all of our seniors and highlight your students’ postsecondary decisions on your school’s website and social media by using the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IDecided. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting on social media. In this weekly update, we are also highlighting the resources below to inform your efforts.

Weekly To-Do List:

✓ Staff: Meet with 12 graders 1:1 and track their plans in STARs.
✓ Staff: Consult with the Decision Day Campaign Toolkit for 2020 for resources to support and celebrate graduating seniors. 
✓ Staff: Visit the TeachHub for Instructional Materials focused on College and Career Planning for grades 9-12. For Non-DOE staff, visit the Remote CCP Resources Public Folder.
✓ Staff: Attend our weekly Virtual Office Hour this Wednesday at 2 pm.   
✓ Staff and Seniors: Visit the CUNY Future Student Enrollment Guide to support admitted students with financial aid, advisement, and support programs.
✓ Staff: Refer to NACAC’s list of institutions still accepting applications and this list of HEOP programs with spots still available. A special shoutout to Aaron Ray and the HEOP Professional Organization for compiling this list.  
✓ 12 graders: Register for Future Ready Power Hours and other virtual events.

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May 5 – Weekly Update

Happy Teacher and Educator Appreciation week! Last week, we kicked off the Decision Campaign for May through June, with a congratulatory note from the Chancellor to students from the class of 2020. In response to COVID19, many higher ed institutions have extended their deadlines beyond May 1st including various City University of New York (CUNY) campuses.  As a result of these changes in the Postsecondary Planning landscape, and the Mayor and Chancellor’s shared commitment to provide our high school seniors with one-to-one counseling to support their college and career aspirations, our Decision Campaign celebration will extend until the end of the school year.  As you continue to advise students with solidifying their postsecondary decisions and celebrating seniors, please refer to the resources below to inform your efforts. Once you meet with students 1:1 and track their postsecondary plans we encourage your school community to celebrate students’ accomplishments. We also  invite you to highlight your students’ postsecondary decisions on your school’s website and social media by using the following hashtags: #FutureReadyNYC and #IDecided. Ensure students have media consent forms before posting on social media. We know that you are working diligently to support our students’ needs and their postsecondary planning dreams, on the behalf of the College and Career Planning community, we appreciate you!  

Weekly To-Do List:

✓ Staff: Meet with 12 graders 1:1 and track their plans in STARs.
✓ Staff: Consult with the Decision Day Campaign Toolkit for 2020 for resources to support and celebrate graduating seniors. 
✓ Staff: Visit the TeachHub for Instructional Materials focused on College and Career Planning for grades 9-12. For Non-DOE staff, visit the Remote CCP Resources Public Folder.
✓ Staff: Attend our weekly Virtual Office Hour this Wednesday at 2 pm.   
✓ Staff and Seniors: Visit the CUNY Future Student Enrollment Guide to support admitted students with financial aid, advisement, and support programs.
✓ 12 graders: Register for Future Ready Power Hour focused on CUNY enrollment and next steps.


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Apr./May Edition

Greetings! We hope that you, your school community and your loved ones are all safe and well. During these unprecedented times, we want you to know that the College and Career Planning Team is committed to supporting you and your school’s postsecondary planning efforts. In response to changes in the Postsecondary Planning landscape, and to the Mayor and Chancellor’s shared commitment to provide our high school seniors with one-to-one counseling and support for their college and career aspirations, our team has developed a cohesive communication, data and professional development strategy for an extended Decision Campaign from now through the end of June.

Undoubtedly, your efforts to celebrate student decisions will look different this year. However, over the past several years you have worked diligently to develop a systems approach and elevate this work in New York City. Together, we have built capacity across the district that has strengthened postsecondary planning culture, focused our college and career advising to include finding the right match, and incorporated data tracking to monitor progress on postsecondary planning milestones.  

Thus, more than ever, our students need us and this is our time to help them shine.  In this edition, we are highlighting several resources to kick off this year’s Decision Campaign. A huge thank you for always being the first responders to our students’ needs and their postsecondary planning dreams!  

Postsecondary Planning Resources 

Educator Resources 

Student Events

  • Encourage students to attend the Multilingual Mondays: The College Search Workshop en Español hosted by NYCDOE Division of Multilingual Learners.
  • Encourage students to attend the ROAM-NYC Virtual Admissions Workshops.

Stay Connected 

  • Join our professional learning community! Attend our weekly Virtual Office Hours every Wednesday at 10 am or 2 pm.   
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Mar. Edition

With SAT School Day and Decision Day on the horizon, your offices will continue to buzz as juniors get ready to take the SATs and seniors bring in their acceptance letters. This newsletter edition focuses on how to support students with making strong match postsecondary decisions. Based on a report released by the Consortium on Chicago School Research, students who attend strong match colleges and postsecondary programs earn degrees or certificates at higher rates. When supporting students with making their postsecondary decisions, students should consider the key elements of match including graduation rates, affordability, and student success supports. Use the citywide match tool with students to compare graduation rates. Encourage students to use an award letter comparison tool or a worksheet to help students assess affordability. Consult with this loan guide from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for tips to consider when taking out loans. Help students enroll in student success programs like the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), Accelerate, Complete and Engage (ACE), and other student supports. Thank you for your tireless dedication to our students and their postsecondary dreams!

Mar. To-Do List:

✓ Staff: Consult with the Coordinator and Instructional Toolkits to help school staff prepare for SAT School Day.
✓ 11th Graders: Remind your juniors to set up and link their College Board and Khan Academy accounts.
✓ 12th-grade: Support seniors with making postsecondary decisions by May 1st. Use this the citywide match tool to compare graduation rates,  award letter comparison tool to assess affordability and consult with this loan guide
✓ 9th-11th graders: Discuss summer plans with students; offer advice on activities and internships in which they can participate.
✓ Staff: Set up Junior workshops and meetings to map out an action plan for a successful application process next fall.
12th graders: Support seniors with advocacy calls for opportunity programs, verification process and assist students in beginning to fill out the NYS DREAM Act eligibility application (which will need to be finalized once students have graduated and can submit evidence of graduation).

News you can use Bulletin:


✎ Sign-up for National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) 2020 Advocacy Meeting. Attendees will learn more about the education policy landscape, develop their advocacy skills, and meet with elected officials to advocate for NACAC’s policy priorities. 

✎ Updates regarding New York State DREAM Act Eligibility Application:

  • Seniors can now apply for the 2020-21 academic year at hesc.ny.gov/dream
  • The application does require students to identify their NYS high school. Ensure students use the correct school name. 
  • Students do not need to upload any documents to apply for TAP. Use the TAP Award estimator to estimate grant awards.
  • Students who upload a current transcript will be given an estimate of their award eligibility. Awards will not be confirmed until proof of graduation is provided.

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Feb. Edition

Happy Career Exploration Month! We are kicking off the month with the annual Summer Program Fair at New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Please encourage all of your students, particularly sophomores, to attend the 4th annual Summer Program Fair on Saturday, Feb. 8th from 11 am – 2:30 pm. Advise students to review the list of organizations that will be in attendance.

Additionally, SAT School Day is a month away and this is the fourth year NYCDOE is offering the SAT exam free of charge to all juniors during the school day. The SAT School Day initiative aims to address disparities among students preparing for and taking this critical college entrance exam. In preparation for March 4, complete this test plan and refer to the SAT School Day Coordinator Manual and Instructional Toolkits. To save time on test day, we recommend that schools schedule pre-administration sessions to complete demographic information on the answer sheets. To support your students with the success of SAT School Day, encourage them to sign up for the SAT Daily Practice App and follow these tips. Thank you for all your efforts to ensure students and staff were prepared for another successful administration. We wish all of our students the best of luck!

Feb. To-Do List:

✓ All Grades: Refer to the Career Exploration Month toolkit to help you plan an activity for each grade. 
✓ 10th and 11th graders: Encourage all of your students, particularly 10th-grade students, to attend the 4th annual Summer Program Fair on Saturday, Feb. 8.  
✓ Staff: Complete the Test Plan and consult with the Coordinator and Instructional Toolkits to help school staff prepare for SAT School Day.
✓ 11th Graders: Remind your juniors to set up and link their College Board and Khan Academy accounts.
✓ 12th graders: Support seniors with advocacy calls for opportunity programs, verification process and assist students in beginning to fill out the NYS DREAM Act eligibility application (which will need to be finalized once students have graduated and can submit evidence of graduation).

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ The New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC) is accepting session proposals for the 2020 ConferenceThe deadline to submit a proposal is February 15.
Youth Communication is looking for 15 NYC school partners interested in the Real As Me girls’ empowerment program. The deadline to apply is the end of Feb.
✎ The Yankee Stonewall scholarship is open to members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community who are planning to attend a two-year or four-year college. Five students will be selected(one from each borough) for a $10,000 award. The scholarship application is due March 1st. 

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Jan Edition

Happy New Year! This newsletter edition focuses on preparing for Career Exploration Month in February 2020 and supporting all students with career exploration. Over 490 NYC high schools have committed to celebrating Career Exploration Month in 2020. In preparation for this calendar event, we are providing the following resources to support your school’s planning: student posters, a planning toolkit with sample lesson plans and activities to engage students in all grades. Additionally, please encourage all of your students, particularly 10th-grade students, to attend the 4th annual Summer Enrichment Fair on Saturday, Feb. 8th from 11 am – 2:30 pm. School staff members can also register to bring a group of students. Students and families will learn about career assessments, internships, academic programs, and summer employment opportunities. Lastly, we want to commend you for your hard work last semester. We wish you a prosperous new year! 

Jan. To-Do List:

✓ Staff: Look out for the 2020 promotional materials expected to arrive to NYCDOE district high schools by Jan. 9 and hang up the Career Exploration Month Posters.
✓ Staff Feedback: Complete Financial Future Month survey if your school participated in this calendar event by Jan. 10
✓ 12th Graders: Follow-up with seniors who have not completed their FAFSA. Refer to the FAFSA completion data portal manual, if you have questions about using the portal.
✓ 12th Graders:Support seniors with the verification process, providing additional documents needed for opportunity programs like the CSS Profile and supporting students in beginning to fill out the NYS DREAM Act eligibility application (which will need to be finalized once students have graduated and can submit evidence of graduation).
✓ 9th and 10th Graders: Plan an early college awareness activity in preparation for College Awareness Day Jan 10.  
✓ All Grades: Refer to the Career Exploration Month toolkit to help you plan an activity for each grade. 
✓ 9th, 10th, and 11th Graders: Support students in grades (9-11) with applying to enrichment programs.

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ NYCDOE is observing College Awareness Day on Friday, January 10, 2020. High Schools are encouraged to host early college awareness activities for 9th and 10th graders and show them that higher education is attainable. Use the hashtags #CollegeAwarenessDay #CollegeAccessForAll to demonstrate your school spirit and follow the College Access for All Middle School Team @CA4A_MS.
✎ We invite you toapply for 2020 Office of Postsecondary Readiness (OPSR) Membership Grants by Jan.16. This opportunity will provide you access to NYSACAC and CACNY Memberships along with high-quality professional development to better support your students. 
Youth Communication is looking for 15 NYC school partners interested in the Real As Me girls’ empowerment program. Deadline to apply is end of Feb.


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December Edition

Thank you for your hard work and advocacy! This edition focuses on supporting all students, especially undocumented students, with important parts of the financial planning process. Earlier this year, the Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act was passed. Now, undocumented students are eligible to apply for state funding to pursue their education after high school. UAspire and Options Institute curated this webinar recording, along with these resources to inform professionals in the field about this new application process. Additionally, the Dream-U Curriculum also provides lessons and guidance on how to start the conversation early with English Language Learners and undocumented students.

 Financial Future Month is about being inclusive of our students’ postsecondary plans and providing activities that help them make informed financial decisions. In addition to completing financial aid forms, examples of inclusive financial planning activities include: sharing information on how to open bank accounts; creating budgets; using the SUNY Smart Track Tool; hosting scholarship workshops and conducting announcements of scholarship recipients. Students do not have to wait until senior year to begin planning for their financial future and searching for scholarships. We hope these aforementioned activities and scholarship tips will help you gain additional ideas on how to help all students with financial planning. Lastly, before you leave for Thanksgiving recess, we want to recognize you and your hard work in assisting our students to complete key financial aid forms. We certainly are grateful for your dedication and hope you enjoy your holiday! 

Dec. To-Do List:

  • Use the FAFSA guides and FAFSA  and TAP completion data to follow up with seniors who have not completed their FAFSA. Refer the FAFSA completion data portalmanual.
  • Refer to TAP instructions and follow these tips to avoid FAFSA page confirmation issues in order to link to the TAP application.
  • Support undocumented students with filling out the NYS DREAM Act application.
  • Support students who plan to enroll in postsecondary institutions in the fall of 2020 to complete their financial aid applications before the December break.
  • Review Financial Future Month toolkit for best practices to support your FAFSA completion efforts.
  •  Support students with applying to scholarships and host financial planning workshops.
  • Plan an early college awareness activity for 9th and 10th graders in preparation for College Awareness Day Jan 11.  


News you can use Bulletin:

NYCDOE press release announced a record-high 48,782 students in the Class of 2018 enrolled in college, which is 62 percent of graduating students, an 11 percentage point increase in NYC. 

✎ For the second year, postsecondary counselors who have made significant strides in advancing their students’ postsecondary readiness and success are also being recognized through the Big Apple College & Career Ambassador award. Nominate Outstanding Teachers and Counselors for the Big Apple Awards by December 2.

✎ Encourage students to apply for the YCteen Writing Contest. Winners will receive prizes: 1st Prize $150| 2nd Prize $75| 3rd prize $50. Submissions are due Jan 6.


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November Edition

UA Wildlife

Happy Financial Future Month! New York City is proud to announce November as Financial Future Month, an effort to increase the number of students who develop a financial plan, including applying for financial aid. In this edition, we focus on things your school can do to help seniors complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application. To support students in completing the FAFSA, the How-to Guide for High School Students on FAFSA will be delivered to your school for all seniors who are enrolled in your school, according to ATS, by November 15. Additionally, college and career point designees can access real-time FAFSA and TAP completion data for all graduating seniors on the FAFSA Completion Data Portal until June 30.

Please note that federal law allows DOE staff members access to student records, only if the information is necessary for the staff member to perform his or her professional responsibilities. Refer to Chancellor’s Regulation A-820 for more information concerning student confidentiality requirements. Furthermore, we advise school staff to support students who plan to enroll in postsecondary institutions in the fall of 2020 to complete their financial aid applications before the December break in order to access Work-Study and other federal funds that are allocated on a first come first serve basis. 

We thank you for supporting our students with creating a financial plan for their future!

Nov. To-Do List:

  •  Hang up the Financial Future Month posters and distribute FAFSA guides. Schools will receive printed copies for every 12th grader in English and in their home language.
  • Review the FAFSA guides with each graduating senior before Thanksgiving break.
  • Use the FAFSA completion data to follow-up with seniors who have not completed their FAFSA.  Review FAFSA completion data portal manual, if you have questions about using the portal.
  •  For username, password and other registration questions, contact the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Help Desk at 866-431-4372. Note that any designation(s) you made during the 2018-19 school year will carry over to the 2019-20 school year.
  • Encourage and support undocumented students with filling out the NYS DREAM Act application for NY state financial aid. Options curated a webinar recording and resources to support professionals in the field with this new application process. 
  • Review financial aid toolkit for best practices, templates, and other resources to support your FAFSA completion efforts.

News you can use Bulletin:

✎ For the second year, postsecondary counselors who have made significant strides in advancing their students’ postsecondary readiness and success are also being recognized through the Big Apple College & Career Ambassador award. Nominate Outstanding Teachers and Counselors for the Big Apple Awards by December 2. ✎ Macaulay Honors College is not a Common App institution. Although students may see the CUNY campus of their choice in Common App, they cannot use it to apply to Macaulay. ✎ The 2020 Campus Locator Map shows the location of each of the private colleges campuses in New York and includes contact information, is available for pre-order now. We encourage you to pre-order as many copies as will be useful to the students you work with. ✎ Encourage students to read YCTEEN articles about accumulating credit card debt and carefully reviewing financial aid packages especially when applying to For Profit colleges.

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February Edition

We hope you had a restful February Break!

SAT School Day is a month away and this is the third year NYCDOE is offering the SAT exam free of charge to all juniors during the school day. The SAT School Day initiative aims to address disparities among students preparing for and taking critical college entrance exams. In preparation for March 27th, please be on the lookout for the following items: College Board Test Supervisor planning kits, posters to promote the day and exam materials.  To save time on test day, we recommend that schools schedule pre-administration sessions to complete demographic information on the answer sheets.

Visit the Info Hub for important reminders and resources to ensure a successful administration.  In addition, you can find toolkits with sample lesson plans, checklists, and student resources on WeTeach to help your school prepare for test day.  Please contact SATSchoolDay@schools.nyc.gov for additional information. The success of SAT School Day is a direct result of your commitment to our students’ success.  Best of luck to you and your school community as you support students conquer this important milestone.  Thank you for all that you do to provide students with what they need to reach their postsecondary dreams!



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