StepUp to Higher Education—an initiative from the State of Utah—is Utah’s go-to source for college-readiness information, including resources for preparing and paying for college, searching and applying for scholarships, and earning college credit in high school. StepUp is the primary outreach program of the Board of Regents to high school students and parents on college readiness (in partnership with the Board’s Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority).
The new 2016-17 StepUp Annual Report provides a snapshot of the growing reach of StepUp initiatives which include Scholars, Concurrent Enrollment, Paying for College, Math Readiness, Applying for College, an annual Counselor Conference, and the Regents’ Scholarship.
StepUp’s primary objective these initiatives is to help students discover the higher education path that’s right for them—whether that means earning a one-year certificate, a two- or four-year degree, or more. Its initiatives provide foundational tools such as grade-by-grade checklists, advice on taking the right classes in high school, and tools for researching college cost, institutions, majors, and careers. StepUp also offers open houses where students and parents can get expert help completing and submitting the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
In the past year, StepUp has experienced a dramatically increased its virtual reach in online and social interaction among students and parents. The new Prepare + Pay e-newsletter launched a year ago already has 190,000 subscribers. Social media interaction has increased year-over-year: on Twitter (+76%), YouTube (+106%), and Instagram (+63%).
This virtual reach is on top of the 90+ FAFSA Completion Open Houses, an annual conference focused on college readiness attended by more than 800 K-12 counselors, the 70,000+ College Guides distributed to students, and Utah College Application Week events coordinated across more than 117 schools in 32 districts.
Bingham’s, Ms. Richards-Khong, making sure students do-nut forget the next steps to college! #DecisionDay @homeoftheminers @ArtCityDonuts pic.twitter.com/ztr1tgu4CV
— StepUp to Higher Ed (@StepUpUtah) May 19, 2017
This increased reach has resulted in a 33% increase completion rate of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), more than 25,000 students submitting college applications during Utah College Application Week Events in 2016 and 8,925 students signing up to be a StepUp Utah Scholar in 8th grade.
More information available from the 2017 StepUp Annual Report or at StepUpUtah.com.