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CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Awareness Campaign & Program: “I Can Afford College

The focus in this instance was to elevate the Community Colleges’ message to low-income Californians regarding the benefits of attending, and the financial aid options available to make it happen.

Objectives:

  • Elevate awareness about financial aid options available to low-income populations at California Community Colleges, a.k.a. the “I Can Afford College” campaign.
  • Improve understanding of the benefits of attending a California Community College.
  • Build and/or strengthen partnerships with community- and faith-based organizations, state agencies and other education- and youth-focused organizations.
  • Increase awareness of community colleges and financial aid options through earned media.

Method:

To achieve these objectives, BP3 developed a “High School Campus Financial Aid Fair” program, taking our message to high school campuses across the state.  Partnering with the California Student Aid Commission and utilizing their priority school list, we identified schools who would benefit most from our campaign messages as th100_0464.JPGey related to financial need (The priority school list being composed of high schools across the state offering a high percentage of free and reduced lunches, and that also have a low rate of college attendance post graduation.).

The high school tour featured “I Can Afford College” campaign representatives, a local radio station, and the financial aid and recruitment arms of the local community colleges. A partnership with Clear Channel guaranteed local radio station participation at each event, which garnered excitement and increased participation by each student body.   In addition to promoting the campaign, these mini college fairs showcased community colleges and what they offer, including financial aid, student services, and programs.

To reach into local communities, BP3 created partnerships with key community and faith-based organizations to help spread our message to their constituents.  Not only did we work with these partners to distribute “I Can Afford College” collateral materials, BP3 also joined them in local education-focused events/activities and host financial aid workshops.  These community workshops are helping the local community colleges develop and foster relationships with their local community organizations.

BP3 specifically targeted participation at youth conventions and conferences with an educational focus to further help drive awareness for this issue.  Community event activities provided more ways to raise awareness while also offering parents, students, and education advocates another chance to hear that available year-round financial aid essentially removes any barrier to higher education at California Community Colleges.

We have coordinated participation in high and low profile events over the years, from County Fairs to State Fairs and ethic-specific fairs, reaching millions through grassroots outreach alone.

Results:

Through our outreach efforts, BP3 developed a community- and faith-based organization partnership list of more than 125 institutions across the state to help build awareness.   As a result of the 30 Community College Financial Aid mini-fairs held at high schools across the state, BP3 reached and connected more than 45,000 students to more than 40 California Community Colleges.

Television – Spanish-Language & General Market

  • Univisión (every affiliate within California, as well as other major Spanish market outlets)
  • Telemundo
  • La Opinion
  • Mundo LA
  • Radio Azteca
  • Nu America Media, to name a few.

Television – Top Tier General Market Broadcasts

  • KCRA (NBC affiliate, Sacramento)
  • KNSD (NBC affiliate, San Diego
  • KTLA (CW affiliate, Los Angeles)
  • KSEE (NBC affiliate, Fresno)
  • KXTV (ABC affiliate, Sacramento), and more.

Radio

  • KNXAM 1070 (CBS affiliate, Los Angeles – San Diego)
  • KNCI 105 FM (CBS affiliate, Sacramento)
  • KOSTFM  (ClearChannel affiliate, Los Angeles), and others