Photo: Earlham College (Flickr)
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education wants College Success Coalitions in all 92 Hoosier counties. Currently, 35 exist across the state.
College Success Coalitions bring together various organizations, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community groups, charities and businesses to help students get into and succeed in higher education. Activities would focus on preparing, planning and paying for college, such as teaching younger students how to save for college and helping older students choose a career and apply for financial aid.
County coalition consultant Susan Tharp says the Clark County coalition helped seniors fill out college applications in an area where only about 40 percent previously did so.
“We implemented this activity called Close the Deal and we now have over 80 percent of our seniors completing an application,” Tharp says.
Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers says the incentives for counties to participate go beyond simply wanting students to succeed.
“We do provide a thousand dollars on a one-time, start-up basis and then we actually will be rewarding counties that meet their performance metrics with additional funding throughout,” she says.
Tharp says setting up the coalition is a roughly six-month process. The Commission will hold an informational meeting for interested counties on October 4.