On behalf of the Florida College Access Network (Florida CAN) and the College Ready Florida steering committee, thank you for participating in Apply Yourself Florida! This exciting initiative would not be possible without the commitment of schools like yours across the state.
Apply Yourself Florida, also known as Florida College Application Week, is part of a national effort to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students pursuing a college degree or other credential. Its focus is to help seniors navigate the complex college admissions process and ensure that they apply to at least one college or career school. Schools do this by dedicating time and space during the school day in which all graduating seniors have the opportunity to successfully submit at least one application to the school of their choice, with the support of trained volunteers.
This guide aims to give an overview of Apply Yourself Florida and provide the resources you need to successfully implement this initiative at your school. While this guide includes nearly everything you’ll need, there are some additional resources included on our website, at www.floridacollegeaccess.org/about-apply-yourself-florida. If you are reading a print copy of this guide, you can also download an electronic copy on that same webpage, which will allow you to easily use all the links and templates included.
Please feel free to contact Arianna Pineiro, Florida CAN’s Special Projects Coordinator, at (813) 974-6429 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about planning and implementing the event at your school. We will be sure to keep you updated with additional information you may find useful.
We thank you for leading this initiative at your high school. We hope that this is the start of a tradition that that will help to build a college-going culture for ALL Florida students and their families!
The FCAN Team
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 3
About the Florida College Access Network 5
About Apply Yourself Florida 6
Building a 13
College-Going Culture 13
Suggested Activities 14
College BINGO 16
Preparing Your Students 17
Apply Yourself Student Guide 18
College Exploration Resources 18
Up Next 19
Great College Application Adventure Handout 19
Application Fee Waivers 19
Reminders for Students 23
Student Instructions Handout 24
Engaging Families 25
Student/Parent Information Letter 25
Student/Parent Information Letter – Spanish 26
Student/Parent Follow-Up Letter 27
Student/Parent Follow-Up Letter – Spanish 27
Managing Volunteers 29
Volunteer Recruitment Letter/Email 30
Volunteer Reference Guide 31
Volunteer Thank You Letter/Email 32
BUSINESS OUTREACH 33
Business Outreach Phone Script 33
Donation Request Letter 34
Sponsor Thank You Letter 34
Promoting Your Event 36
Traditional Media 36
Social Media 38
Data Collection 41
Data Collection Methods 42
This guide has been adapted from materials originally produced by the American College Application Campaign (ACAC) and by Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). A special thanks to both ACAC and MCAN for permission to adapt this guide for use in Florida, as well as their guidance on the process. Spanish translations were kindly provided by Dr. Sonia Ramírez Wohlmuth of the Department of World Languages at the University of South Florida. 44
Florida College Access Network would also like to thank the Helios Education Foundation and the Swift Family Foundation, whose support made this project possible. 44
Thank you for being part of Apply Yourself Florida! 44
Florida College Access Network (Florida CAN) is a statewide network of leaders, organizations, educators, and individuals who are collectively committed to dramatically increasing postsecondary opportunities for all Florida students—especially students traditionally underrepresented in higher education, such as low income students and those who are the first in their families to go to college.
Our Mission: To create and strengthen a statewide network that catalyzes and supports communities to improve college and career readiness, access, and completion for all students.
Our Vision: At least 60% of working-age Floridians will hold a high-quality post-secondary degree or credential by the year 2025.
Our Guiding Values:
College is postsecondary education. Florida College Access Network uses the term “college” to refer to the attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials beyond high school, including technical certificates and academic degrees.
College readiness is career readiness. All Florida students deserve to receive a high-quality PreK-12 education which prepares them academically for success in college or a career.
College is for everyone. All Florida students deserve the opportunity to pursue a high-quality postsecondary education that prepares them to effectively communicate, engage, and compete in the 21st century knowledge-based global economy.
College is a public good. Postsecondary educational opportunity and attainment are critical to a just and equitable society, strong democracy, robust economy, and healthy communities.
Reaching Goal 2025 will require collective action. Accelerating high-quality degree production in Florida to meet Goal 2025 requires strategic partnerships and active involvement from all sectors.