Ohio’s Efforts to Bridge the Talent Gap
Navigating the process of entering higher education can be confusing, especially for families doing this for the first time. Between college tours, applications, essays, scholarship applications, and FAFSA, it can be too much to handle and even deter students. On October 1st, 2023, the “3 To Get Ready, 4 To Go” campaign will officially kick off and will help to streamline these processes and offer tools and resources to support staff, students, and their families. Here’s what you need to know this fall.
The program will highlight 7 components:
- Completing FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
- Applying to colleges
- Signing to the chosen college
- Access and early awareness
- Summer melt prevention
- Postsecondary advising & support
- Graduation & Workforce
To keep youth highly competitive in the job market, the state’s education leaders are pushing for initiatives that encourage high school students to continue into higher education and earn degrees.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education’s website notes that the state is not keeping pace with the needs of businesses. Employers are struggling to find candidates with the knowledge and skills required to thrive in the position while young people tend to lack the necessary expertise and talents that meet employers’ expectations. This ‘talent gap’ is alarming and can have detrimental effects on our economy. We must stay highly competitive to get and keep businesses in Ohio!
This is why there is a push for students to complete FAFSA. The department also stated that students who complete FAFSA are more likely to enroll in higher education and complete a degree. This isn’t just necessary for those planning on completing a 4-year degree either. FAFSA is also helpful for students attending a 2-year college or a training program as well. These opportunities can seem completely out of the picture for many students, especially those in low-income communities, by completing this application for financial aid, students can get access to grants, scholarships, and loans they otherwise would not have. The window to complete it opens on October 1st, so if you have students interested in pursuing a degree, we recommend taking a look at the resources ASAP.
Another important step is supporting students in applying for colleges. Again, this can be overwhelming and confusing for students and families. The state is offering materials for schools to host college application events where students and families can find tools, tips, resources, and support for ensuring they are on track and taking the proper steps. If your school is interested in hosting an event, you can register below to receive promotional materials from the state.
The hope is that this campaign can help students interested in college, understand their options and begin leveraging the resources provided by the state.