An across-the-district effort to encourage high school seniors to submit viable college applications is paying off. This year, 91 percent of Canyons District seniors participated in Utah College Application Week, completing at least one application, a substantial increase over the 82 percent application rate of 2015. Many students completed multiple applications. Also, for the first time, students at CSD’s new Diamond Ridge, CSD’s alternative high school, participated.
Utah has committed to improve its college graduation rate. Currently 40.4 percent of Utahns have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, 2011 U.S. Census data show which beats the national average. But Utah lawmakers and Gov. Gary Herbert want to boost that to 66 percent by 2020.
Canyons’ college enrollment rate is at nearly 51 percent, says the District’s comprehensive counseling and guidance coordinator Tori Gillett, citing figures for the Class of 2015. That’s up a bit from 49.4 percent in 2014. Gillett says some of the increase is due to an effort by the Canyons Education Foundation to raise money for scholarships and to help defray the cost of college application fees for students who can’t afford them.
Looking ahead, District staff intend to work more closely with technical schools and take a more targeted approach to applications by better matching students with schools that best fit their career goals, Gillett says. The District will also gather more data on the post-secondary planning of students and present more information about the federal Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) program.