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Building a "College-Bound Culture"

This article in The Houston Chronicle talks about how schools in the Houston district are trying to create a "college-bound culture" for their students in order to increase the number of students who go to college after high school. The story doesn't go into much detail about what the district is doing in order to do that besides establishing more college centers to help students apply and find financial aid, but it does say that the district had successfully beefed up its number of college counselors in its high schools.

Still, the article mentions that even with the new effort to boost college-going rates, Houston lags behind other districts in the area.

I'm sure having college counselors on hand to help students with the application process impacts the number of students who apply, but I wonder if that's enough to get kids motivated to go to college. It seems like that kind of change in mindset would require a shift in all aspects of education, starting way before high school even begins.

What do you think? What can school districts do to help increase college-going rates? How early should those efforts start, and how effective are they?

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