The Reach Higher initiative is the First Lady's effort to inspire every student in America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.

In today's economy, a high school diploma just isn't enough. Students have to reach higher, which is why the First Lady is working to rally the country around the President's "North Star" goal — that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

Expanding Opportunity

The Reach Higher initiative will help make sure all students understand what they need to complete their education, including:

  • Exposing students to college and career opportunities
  • Understanding financial aid eligibility that can make college affordability a reality
  • Encouraging academic planning and summer learning opportunities
  • Supporting high school counselors who can help more kids get into college



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“Education is the key to success for so many kids.”

—Michelle Obama

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Get Involved

Want to Show the First Lady your Reach Higher Support? Host a College Signing Day on May 1 or Wear your College Gear!

This May, we want you to celebrate the students in your local community with your very own Signing Day Celebration. Whether you're a mayor, a principal, a high school faculty member, community organizer, a celebrity, or someone who wants to see students succeed, we want you to get involved.

Check out our Signing Day Toolkit, filled with resources and examples of how you can answer the First Lady’s call to action. And if you're organizing an event, we want to know! Please share your information with us here and let us know if you are interested in requesting a Signing Day speaker.

Show your support: Take a photo in your college T-shirt and Instagram it, Facebook it or Tweet it with the hashtag #ReachHigher.

Follow @ReachHigher on Twitter.

Follow @ReachHigher2020 on Instagram.




College Scorecard

The College Scorecard makes it easier for students and families to search for a college that provides a good value. It includes essential information about a particular college’s cost, its graduation rates and the average amount its students borrow, all in an easy-to-read format. It is designed to help you compare colleges and choose one that is well-suited to your individual needs.

Net Price Calculator Center

The Net Price Calculator Center provides an easy tool to allow students and families to enter information about themselves and find out the net price of any given college- that is, the price after subtracting the scholarships and grants a student are likely to receive.

College Navigator

College Navigator is an interactive website that provides detailed information about different institutions, including programs and majors, admissions considerations and more.

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

Many colleges and universities have adapted a shopping sheet that provides personalized information on financial aid and net costs as well as general information on institutional outcomes — all in a standardized format. This tool provides an easy way to make clear comparisons among financial aid offers from different schools.


Navigate the financial aid process and make informed decisions about paying for college. This website provides straightforward and easy-to-understand information about planning and paying for college. The site combines content and interactive tools from several Department of Education websites.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step in accessing the more than $150 billion available in federal student aid.

Reach Higher Logos

Guidelines for Logo Use

  • The Reach Higher Initiative logo may not be used to endorse any commercial product or service, nor may the logo be used in advertising or in any manner that could give rise to the appearance of endorsement.
  • The Reach Higher Initiative logo may not be used to solicit funds or other contributions.
  • The Reach Higher Initiative logo may not be used in any matter that could give rise to the appearance that the U.S. Government owns, operates, or is affiliated with any nongovernmental entity or its programs, products or services.
  • The Reach Higher Initiative logo may only be used in connection with distribution of information about the White House Reach Higher Initiative, as found on the Reach Higher website. Any other uses are unauthorized.

    Download the Reach Higher Logos

Learn More

“I believe that education is the single-most important civil rights issue that we face today. Because in the end, if we really want to solve issues like mass incarceration, poverty, racial profiling, voting rights, and the kinds of challenges that shocked so many of us over the past year, then we simply cannot afford to lose out on the potential of even one young person. We cannot allow even one more young person to fall through the cracks.”
— First Lady Michelle Obama, February 20, 2015


The First Lady on the Power of Education

First Lady Michelle Obama tells students that no matter what path they choose or what dreams they have, they must do whatever it takes to continue their education past high school.

Taking Action to Expand College Opportunity

President Obama believes that to lead the world in the share of college graduates by 2020, we can and must be doing more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating.

A World Class Education for Every Student in America

Learn more about the President's plan to equip all Americans with the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

“My College Story Can Be Yours”

In an op-ed in Education Week, First Lady Michelle Obama explains why we need to inspire every child to reach higher, and give them an opportunity to fulfill their boundless potential.

Read All Reach Higher Blog Posts

From announcements to inspirational videos, Reach Higher's blog posts will help keep you up-to-date on the progress of the initiative and demonstrate how you can help out.

Reach Higher on Upworthy

See the latest post by the First Lady titled "I Really Hope The Parent of There People Get To See What They Said Here. They'd Probably Cry" on Upworthy.