Michelle Obama has a message for high schools and colleges that want her to speak at their commencement ceremonies next spring: Woo me with a video.
As part of her Reach Higher initiative to encourage every student to pursue some kind of postsecondary training, the first lady announced a video contest this week. And in the videos, she wants to hear about efforts on school campuses to improve college enrollment and completion.
The administration is specifically looking for videos that illustrate model programs at high schools that encourage students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and support peer-mentoring programs and immersion experiences with colleges.
Finalists will have a chance to have the first lady for a graduation speaker.
Mrs. Obama is urging high schools to participate in the FAFSA Completion Challenge and document their successful efforts. Winning videos will be chosen based on creativity and a school’s FAFSA completion growth rate from 2014 to March 16, 2015.
The Near-Peer Mentoring College Challenge is a push to get higher education to develop near-peer mentoring and college immersion experiences on campus for high school students. This can include hosting high school students on a college campus, university students visiting high schools, or alumni reaching out to their community to ensure high school students are getting exposed to college.
Submissions for the FAFSA video are due March 16, 2015 and the mentoring video deadline is Feb. 27, 2015.
A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.