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New Resource Explores How K–12 Leaders Can Use Federal COVID Relief for College, Career Readiness

Nearly $180B in new funding for K–12 schools means opportunities to close gaps in college and career access and success, particularly for historically underserved students

For Release: July 22, 2021

Contact: Dorie Turner Nolt, 404.861.1127,

The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) and other education organizations today released a new resource for states and school districts on ways to spend federal COVID relief money to better support high school students’ transitions to college and careers.

The five-page guide aimed at helping K–12 education leaders improve postsecondary access and success — particularly for historically underserved students — was created in partnership with the College in High School Alliance, the Everyone Graduates Center, the Linked Learning Alliance, and the National College Attainment Network

“The historic level of relief dollars gives state and district leaders an opportunity  not only to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on learning, but also to build stronger systems that support students now and into the future,” said All4Ed president and CEO Deborah Delisle. “This moment is particularly important to finally address longstanding inequities in education that have led to much lower college attendance rates for our most vulnerable high schoolers for generations. Education leaders can meet this moment in our nation’s history by building high school experiences that are meaningful and engaging for students and by ensuring all students have the knowledge and support to navigate from high school to higher education.”

Recognizing the pandemic’s far-reaching impact on the nation’s schools and students, Congress has provided nearly $180 billion for K–12 education to states and districts through three COVID relief packages. This federal money comes after a decline in college enrollment last fall as a result of the pandemic, particularly among low-income students and students of color — a trend that’s expected to continue, based on a drop in students applying for federal aid for this coming fall.

As states and districts finalize their plans for spending these funds during the upcoming school year, the new guide encourages them to consider using money on evidence-based practices that will re-engage high school students and ensure they are on track to graduate ready for what comes next. 

For example, relief funds can be used to:

Read more about All4Ed’s work on college and career readiness at


The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those underperforming and those historically underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

July 22, 2021

Publication | College and Career Pathways, COVID Response & Recovery, High Schools, Higher Education

Using Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds to Support Student Transitions from High School to Higher Education

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