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Tying High-School Diplomas to College Applications

Hopes and wishes won’t get more students to attend college. But might a law do the trick?

This week the Oregon House of Representatives approved a bill that would require high-school students to submit a college application, or take an alternative step, before obtaining their diplomas. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tobias Read, a Democrat, told The Oregonian that the bill was a way to increase college-going rates during a time of budget constraints.

“This bill does not intend to tell anyone what choice is right for them,” Mr. Read said. “It merely aims to prompt the consideration of those options and encourage students to think about what’s important to them.”

According to the bill, students could satisfy the proposed graduation requirement in one of three ways: by applying to a postsecondary institution, by submitting an enlistment application to the military, or by attending an orientation session for an apprenticeship or training program.

The bill has moved on to the Oregon Senate.

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