Academic Affairs and Policy

Academic Affairs Division

College Access Challenge Grant

CACG logo


Georgia has been awarded over $12 million in College Access Challenge Grant funds from the US Department of Education since 2008 with an additional $6 million in matching funds by the state. The Chancellor of the University System of Georgia leads implementation of Georgia’s College Access Plan on behalf of the Governor’s Office and Alliance of Education Agency Heads. The Plan is a collaboration with the Governor’s Office, Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Student Finance Commission, Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, and Technical College System of Georgia. Additional partners include the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, Southern Regional Education Board, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, and Communities in Schools of Georgia. The Office of Educational Access and Success department of the University System of Georgia leads the project along with a cross-agency Leadership Team. Patricia Paterson is the Principal Investigator.

Target Populations:

  1. P-12 students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education and their families;
  2. low-income adults at risk of not completing college.


  1. To increase the number of underrepresented students who graduate from Georgia high schools academically ready, informed about, supported for, and motivated for postsecondary education;
  2. To increase the number of underrepresented students graduating from Georgia high schools who successfully transition into, persist in, and complete postsecondary education;
  3. to increase the college degree attainment of low-income adults who have some college credit but have not been enrolled in the past year and have not attained a degree.


  • Update, enhance, and expand access to GAcollege411, the State’s free web-based portal to help students plan for, apply, and pay for college.
  • As a companion to GAcollege411, develop and disseminate modules and outreach materials to promote understanding among families and students underrepresented in postsecondary of the benefits and opportunities of postsecondary education.
  • Implement a comprehensive system of professional development and collaboration opportunities for school counselors, financial aid administrators, and college admissions counselors, including training on use of GAcollege411 financial aid services.
  • Establish a special fund—the Early College Grant Program—to fund all postsecondary education costs for Early College students which are not covered through Georgia’s ACCEL (dual enrollment) program.
  • Implement Apply to College Week at high schools serving large percentages of underrepresented students.
  • Modify / expand postsecondary degree programs which are matched with workforce needs and strategic industries;
  • Conduct outreach activities and enhance programs for adults returning to college (“stopped out” students with some college credits who have not attained a degree).