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Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

The College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program is a federal formula grant designed to foster partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and philanthropic entities to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. Created by the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, the CACG program provided $66 million per year for two years to agencies or organizations designated by each state's governor. The passage of the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 expanded the program for an additional five years and raised funding to $150 million per year. The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) launched the CACG Network in 2008, soon after the federal government provided initial grant funding to the states. WICHE designed the network to give Western states the opportunity to collaborate and improve their grant programs by sharing ideas and promising practices with colleagues in other states, learning from college access and success experts, and addressing common challenges as a group. During the first two years of the grant, "Alaska," "Nevada," "North Dakota," and "Washington" participated in the CACG Network. In 2010 "Idaho," "Texas," "Utah," and "Wyoming" joined the effort, while North Dakota opted out (the state rejoined the network in 2011). While the state projects in the CACG Network vary in size and scope and seek to boost access and success for low-income students using a variety of methods, there are several common approaches that show promise in multiple states. This issue of "Exchanges" highlights four strategies that states in the CACG Network have employed: (1) developing college access partnerships; (2) peer mentoring; (3) increasing the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); and (4) enhancing financial aid programs. The brief discusses promising new ideas and methods for implementing these strategies, the states' early results, and challenges they have faced. It generally focuses on the August 14, 2010-August 13, 2011 grant year, although many of the programs discussed have been developed over several years. (Contains 3 endnotes.)

Descriptors: Student Financial Aid, Grants, Low Income Groups, Federal Government, Partnerships in Education, Postsecondary Education, College Bound Students, Educational Legislation, Federal Legislation, Cooperation, Mentors, College Preparation, Financial Aid Applicants, Program Implementation, Program Effectiveness, Peer Relationship

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. P.O. Box 9752, Boulder, CO 80301-9752. Tel: 303-541-0200; Fax: 303-541-0291; Web site: http://wiche.edu





Autor: Krueger, Carl; Lane, Patrick

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=4495&id=ED539053



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