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October is College Knowledge Month


What is College Knowledge Month?

College Knowledge Month's goal is to provide every graduating high school senior with the preparation, opportunity, and support needed to apply to college. This statewide effort has occurred annually during the month of October since 2011. The event is sponsored by a Steering Committee of K12, higher education and nonprofit partners.

Read more about the background and impact of this initiative.


This month-long effort allows students to do more than just submit a college application. Within this time frame, students can participate in the college exploration and planning process at their own pace -- and schools can align this initiative with the many college exploration activities that are already taking place during the fall. College Knowledge Month aims to:

  • Help schools establish and/or build upon a culture of college-readiness.
  • Communicate to all students the importance of preparing for and applying to college.
  • Engage and inform underrepresented students (first-generation college students, students of color, and low-income students) about postsecondary opportunities, culminating in the application process.
  • Provide a statewide message and excitement about exploring and planning for college.
  • Increase the number of Minnesota seniors who complete the college admissions process.

Site Coordinators/Schools

Register your site for College Knowledge Month.

At the very minimum, schools interested in participating must devote time and space during the school day for college exploration activities - including support for seniors to complete college applications. The College Knowledge Month Steering Committee will provide resources, materials, support and training for registered sites.

College access programs such as College Possible, TRIO programs, Get Ready, AVID, etc. already working within schools or districts can host College Knowledge Month events and serve students within their pre-existing program structure. Additional assistance will also be provided by high school and/or college access staff and volunteers from colleges and the community.

Need more information?

Site Coordinator Support and Training

  • Site Coordinator Resource Guide - Updated in 2014, this guide is meant to be a primary resource to you as you plan, promote and implement your College Knowledge Month activities.
  • Site Coordinator Dropbox - Access and share tools from other Minnesota site coordinators. Download previous training documents and presentations.
  • Shaping Your Future Video Collection - Use these videos during October to kick-off your CKM events or motivate students to think about their plans for the future.
  • 2017-18 Free Application Opportunities A list of which MN schools do not charge an application fee during College Knowledge Month - and which schools accept the NACAC fee waiver for qualified students at any time of the year.
  • 2017 CKM Poster An 8.5" x 11" version of the October poster to send to students and families about College Knowledge Month.

Toolkit Items

This is a list of downloadable/customizable tools and links from the Site Coordinator Resource Guide.

Planning Your Events

Recruiting and Organizing Volunteers

Promoting the Month

Working with Students


Register to Volunteer for College Knowledge Month!

Volunteers from colleges and the community will be a critical ingredient to the success of College Knowledge Month. Volunteers can lend their individual expertise at any of the registered sites and are needed in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the high school.

Example volunteer tasks include:

  • greet and sign-in students
  • assist students with the completion of college applications
  • speak to student or parent groups
  • share information about the college application process
  • share personal stories about your career or college journey
  • share about your area of expertise (financial aid, diversity, college preparation, essay writing, etc.)

Need more information?

Training sessions for school sites will emphasize the importance of effectively utilizing and communicating with volunteers. Site coordinators are encouraged to contact you on a first-come, first-serve basis to confirm your availability and schedule you for their event(s). For this reason, registering to volunteer does not guarantee that you will end up volunteering at a specific site, or at all. We appreciate your time and willingness to contribute to Minnesota College Knowledge Month.

Useful College Planning Resources


Related Links