College Goal Sunday is a national program designed to help students clear the paperwork and financial hurdles to higher education. It's of particular importance to low-income and first-generation college goers. The program began in Indiana in 1989, but has since expanded nationwide.
College Goal Alaska (CGA) - formerly Alaska College Goal Sunday - was initially made possible through a three-year grant from the Lumina Foundation awarded to the Coalition of Alaskans Supporting Higher Education (CASHE) and funded through a second Lumina Foundation Grant for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 CGA programs. The 2011 and 2012 CGA programs were funded by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE). The 2013 CGA program was funded by ACPE with support from the U.S. Department of Education College Access Challenge Grant. The 2014 CGA program was funded by ACPE with support from USA Funds.
The first Alaska College Goal Sunday (now College Goal Alaska - CGA) took place on February 13, 2005. At that time, financial aid experts in seven communities provided assistance to 690 college bound students and families. Alaska's program success since the inaugural event has been nationally recognized. By 2007, the program had expanded to 17 sites in 15 communities across the state, reaching more than 1600 students and families. By 2010, CGA took place in 22 communities, and continues to take place in 22-25 communities annually since then.
CASHE is a unique public/private partnership formed by the Alaska Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Education Consortium, and the University of Alaska, to identify opportunities and implement programs to increase access to higher education for Alaska's low-income families and their children.