NASFAA and Partners Announce College Access Marketing Web Site

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New online resource improves communication campaigns that encourage college attendance

– The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and the Pathways to College Network announced today the availability of a new online resource to improve communication campaigns aimed at encouraging students and families to pursue college opportunities. The Pathways Network is managed by The Education Resources Institute (TERI), and comprises 30 partner organizations, including lead partners NASFAA, the College Board, and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Named College Access Marketing, the Web site is designed for schools, programs, organizations, and government agencies that provide students and families with support and guidance about going to college. The site explains how to use marketing techniques to reach students with messages that resonate, and emphasizes the importance of investing in good audience research and solid evaluation. It also features a multimedia gallery of examples from past and current campaigns, including TV, radio, print, and other materials.

While college access marketing is still a young field, the use of marketing techniques to promote positive behavioral change has been a well-accepted practice in the public health sector for decades.

NASFAA President Dallas Martin applauded the site, saying, “This is a great resource for NASFAA members and others committed to college access. It takes what we are already doing and makes it more effective. Ultimately, this is about the students. Are they hearing what we are trying to say? If not, what do we need to do differently? This site helps people find constructive answers to those questions.”

“The College Access Marketing site is really breaking new ground,” said Ann Coles, Director of the Pathways to College Network and TERI senior vice president. “It links what research shows is effective in communication to the goal of improving college access in a very practical way.”

College Access Marketing is available free of charge to all users at: http://www.collegeaccessmarketing.org.

About the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 10,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. Each year, members help more than eight million students receive funding for postsecondary education. In addition to its Member Web site at http://www.NASFAA.org, the Association offers a Web site with financial aid information for parents and students at http://www.StudentAid.org.

About the Pathways to College Network.

Launched in 2001, the Pathways to College Network is an alliance of 41 national organizations and funders committed to advancing college access and success for underserved students, including those who are the first generation in their families to go to college, low-income students, underrepresented minorities, and students with disabilities. Pathways emphasizes connecting policymakers, education leaders and practitioners, and community leaders with research on effective strategies for improving college preparation, enrollment, and degree completion. In 2004, Pathways published A Shared Agenda: A Leadership Challenge to Improve College Access and Success, summarizing research-based effective policies and practices drawn from over 650 studies. For more information, see http://www.pathwaystocollege.net.

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Tim Christensen
NASFAA
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