A proclamation on the National College application month, 2021
When America made 12 years of public education universal over a century ago, it gave us the best-educated and best-prepared workforce in the world – which in turn was the one of the main reasons we were able to rule the world in the 20th century. Today, however, we know that 12 years is no longer enough to compete. American students deserve every chance to acquire the skills they need to carve out a place for themselves in the economy of tomorrow. But according to a recent study, the United States now ranks 33rd out of 44 advanced economies in the share of our youth who have graduated beyond high school.
If we are to once again set the tone around the world – in research and development, innovation and discovery, equity and opportunity, and the creation of well-paying jobs with dignity – it is imperative that we make affordable, high-quality post-high school education available to every American student. During College Application Month, we celebrate the opportunities offered by post-secondary education and encourage Americans to apply to colleges and universities as we work to ensure that every student has a chance to reach their full potential and to strengthen the future of our nation.
My administration works hard to ensure that higher education is equitable, accessible and affordable for every student in every community. That’s why my Administration Build Back Better framework includes major investments in community colleges, as well as our essential network of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other serving institutions. of minorities (MSI). Additionally, my plan would increase the Federal Pell Grant, a key resource to help students from low-income families afford higher education, including costs beyond tuition. Each of these investments will help young Americans, including dreamers, better take advantage of the high-paying jobs of tomorrow. My administration is also working to modernize the free federal student aid application form. Finally, we are taking steps to ensure that academic institutions do a better job of providing students with clear and transparent information about how much they can expect to pay for college and their options for meeting those costs.
However, as important to the future of our nation as access to college, completion of schooling is just as essential. Far too many students enter university to have to drop out before they graduate, and we are seeing firsthand how the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges students face as they seek to complete their education. COVID-19 has dramatically increased economic insecurity for families across the country, especially for people of color, the LGBTQ + community, and those in low-income communities, leading to further unequal barriers to enrollment and registration. completion of college studies. My administration is ready to support our nation’s colleges by welcoming back all students who have had to put their education goals on hold due to the pandemic.
My administration has also called for bold investments in completion and retention at colleges and universities that serve large numbers of low-income students – including community colleges – so that all Americans have the opportunity to obtain education beyond high school. These investments would help cover proven solutions for student success, including providing comprehensive services such as child and senior care, mental health services, accessibility resources and emergency grants for students. basic needs to help more Americans enter and graduate from college.
In addition, my administration works hard to provide institutions with the funding and flexibility to meet the needs of students. Earlier this year, we launched an awareness campaign with millions of federal Pell grant recipients who are now eligible for a monthly discount on broadband internet service as part of a temporary program administered by the Federal Communications Commission. . We have also partnered with other federal government agencies to educate institutions and their students about expanding access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, health care benefits, tax cuts for those raising children, and financial assistance and post-secondary education opportunities for students and families facing unemployment.
This month, we’re celebrating the hard work and promise of students across the country, and we’re committed to rebuilding better by ensuring that everyone in America can pursue and complete high-quality, affordable higher education. We thank the parents and loved ones, teachers, professors, administrators, financial aid professionals, college access organizations, mentors and counselors who assist our students throughout the application process for the college and beyond.
THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by authority conferred on me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, proclaim November 2021 National Nominations Month at colleges. I call on government officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities designed to encourage students to plan, apply, and graduate from college. .
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have affixed my signature to this
the twenty-ninth day of October, the year of grace two thousand and twenty-one, and of independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-six.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.