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Press Release

Thursday, March 18, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Facts.org Celebrates 10 Years of Helping Florida Students and Families

~ Student advising Web site has played a pivotal role in helping students prepare for college ~

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s Student Advising Web site, FACTS.org (Florida’s Academic Counseling and Tracking for Students), is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The online advising system has grown in the past decade from just over 250,000 hits in 2000 to more than 28 million last year. Originally designed to help college students graduate more efficiently by reducing excess credit hours, the system has grown to be a comprehensive college access and advising site, helping students get ready, get in, and get through college.

“A postsecondary education is absolutely essential in today’s competitive global marketplace and FACTS.org has played an important role in ensuring students understand and explore their college options,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith.

Studies have shown that planning for college should start as early as middle school and continue through high school. In 2006, Florida began requiring all middle school students to take a career and education planning course. Students in the course use FACTS.org to explore careers and create an electronic Personal Education Plan (ePEP) based on what they want to do after graduation. Another popular feature is the High School Evaluations function, which students and parents can use to track student progress toward meeting Bright Futures Scholarship requirements.

“As a parent, FACTS.org was one of the best Web sites recommended by my daughter’s counselor. We were probably on ePEP and High School Evaluations at least once a week, monitoring her progress,” said Florida parent Sharon Lenzo. “I was amazed that all the high school information I wanted to see as a parent was located on this one site.”

The FACTS.org system is also a primary source of information on postsecondary programs at Florida’s universities, colleges, and career technical centers. Developed in partnership with these institutions, students can apply for college admission and search for degree programs and institutions directly from the Web site. Since its inception, college students have accessed FACTS.org almost eight million times to track their progress toward graduation and/or transfer to another institution, as well as to get their transcripts or to build career portfolios.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary, FACTS.org is holding an interactive virtual celebration. Students, parents and educators have the opportunity to participate by submitting videos, quotes and photos about FACTS.org. Florida College students who submit a video have the chance to win a laptop donated by the Foundation for Florida’s Community Colleges.

For more information and to view the 10th Anniversary celebration site, go to www.facts.org.