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About KnowHow2GO

Young people in all socioeconomic groups have college aspirations. In fact, eight out of 10 expect to attain a bachelor's degree or higher, according to the U.S. Department of Education. But despite their aspirations, low-income students and those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education are severely underrepresented on college campuses. Studies show these students often lack the guidance they need to prepare for postsecondary education.

In order to turn these students' college dreams into action-oriented goals, the American Council on Education, Lumina Foundation and the Ad Council created the KnowHow2GO campaign. This multi-year, multi-media effort includes television, radio and outdoor public service advertisements (PSAs) that encourage young people, primarily those in 8th through 10th grade, to prepare for college using four simple steps.

The Four Steps to College

  • Be a pain. Let everyone know that you're going to college and need their help.
  • Push yourself. Working a little harder today will make getting into college even easier.
  • Find the right fit. Find out what kind of school is the best match for you and your career goals.
  • Put your hands on some cash. If you think you can't afford college, think again. There's lots of aid out there.

To ensure that students and adult mentors who connect with the powerful messages of the PSA campaign can easily find real-time, on-the-ground assistance, we have built partnerships with many state-based college access networks. For more information about college access networks in your area, visit the National College Access Network. To find information about specific programs in your area, visit MoveED (, a national directory of college access programs.

Student Materials

Today's students speak many different languages. Want some bite-sized information about college that's easy to digest? Check out these handy guides in English, Spanish, Hmong and Arabic to learn more about the Four Steps to College. They're small enough to fit into your back pocket, but big enough to give you all of the information you need at a glance!


Need some inspiration? Watch the public service advertisements designed to encourage young people to prepare for college.

What It Takes

Persistence :30

Skate :30

Skate :30 - Spanish

Mural :30


Prepare for College, Now

Scary Math Teacher!

Save the Frogs - Biology

Be Tough - Take a Foreign Language

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