​What Is The American College Application Campaign?

The American College Application Campaign (ACAC) is a national effort to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families pursuing a college degree or other higher education credential.

The college application process can be confusing and daunting for students. ACAC events assist high school seniors, including those systemically underserved, with submitting at least one college application. We break down the steps of the application process and we meet students where they are – in high school during the school day. By working across schools, across communities, and across state lines, we can more successfully impact who pursues education and training beyond high school.

Beginning in 2014, ACAC programs took place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As of the 2023 campaign year, over 4.7 million students have been served, submitting over 8.7 million college applications since the campaign’s inception in 2005.

Why College Matters

Higher education will determine the future of our nation. Often, income inequalities are driven by a lack of access to college. Not only are college graduates half as likely to be unemployed as those with only a high school degree, they are also more likely to vote and be leaders in their communities. The economic health and social viability of a democratic society is determined by the education of its citizens. We must remove the barriers to postsecondary education access.

Data Table

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey

Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers.