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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 4, 1998

HIGH HOPES for College for America's Youth

February 4, 1998

"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

Today President Clinton is announcing a new initiative, High Hopes for College, to inspire more of our young people to have high expectations, to stay in school and study hard, and to go to college. This long-term investment -- starting with $140 million in the FY1999 Budget -- would promote partnerships between colleges and middle or junior high schools in low-income communities, providing children with the support they need, starting in sixth or seventh grade and continuing through high school graduation.

TELLING FAMILIES EARLY: COLLEGE IS WITHIN REACH. Families need to know that college is affordable regardless of their income. High Hopes would provide children and their families in low-income communities at the middle and junior high school level, with a 21st Century Scholar certificate, an official, early notification of the Federal college aid for which they are eligible.

COLLEGE-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS PROVIDE CHILDREN WITH MENTORING AND OTHER SUPPORT. It takes more than money to go to college and succeed. To make the hope of college education real, degree-granting colleges (including 2-year institutions) would be encouraged to establish partnerships with middle and junior high schools with large concentrations of low-income children. Working with parents, community and religious groups, and businesses, the partnerships would provide information about what it means and what it takes to go to college, as well as support services -- such as mentoring, tutoring, college visits, summer programs, after-school activities, and counseling -- to help the children stay on track. The partnerships would help ensure that children have access to the rigorous core courses that prepare them for college and would help educate parents to help their children prepare for college.

STAYING WITH THE CHILDREN THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. The High Hopes initiative would be flexible, allowing partnerships to design their own efforts based on local needs and resources. In order to be most effective in increasing college attendance by low-income youth, the programs must be based on research and experience with what works, and must:

HIGH HOPES COULD REACH 3,000 MIDDLE SCHOOLS, MORE THAN 1 MILLION STUDENTS. The President's Budget calls for a $140 million investment in new High Hopes partnerships in 1999, and an additional $70 million for new partnerships in each of the years 2000 and 2001 (as well as continuation funds for the original partnerships). If each project begins with one sixth or seventh grade class, this would fund partnerships with 3,000 middle and junior high schools. If each project adds an incoming class each year, more than 1 million students would be served over five years.

See attached letter of bipartisan support.