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Today, the SC Commission on Higher Education (CHE) and The College Board awarded Blythewood High School for an outstanding effort to help students access college. The College Access Champion School award recognizes Blythewood High’s remarkable performance in College Board’s Opportunity Scholarships (CBOS) program, and for coaching students through the steps of the college application process, such as: creating a college list, completing college applications, exploring college scholarships, taking the SAT, completing a FAFSA, and selecting a college. Blythewood High is one of five South Carolina high schools this year to receive the award.

The Opportunity Scholarships program first started in South Carolina in 2018 and has grown substantially since. Over the last two years, South Carolina high schools’ participation in the CBOS program has resulted in $133,000 in additional scholarships to students. Blythewood High has consistently ranked in the top 20 South Carolina schools for student participation in the program: 16th for most participating students in the class of 2020, 11th in the class of 2021. Richard Green, Senior Director for the College Board program commented:“We offer College Board Opportunity Scholarships as a guide to planning and paying for college…  We are especially proud of the caring educators in Blythewood High for tremendous efforts in a challenging year to expand college access and connect these scholarships with South Carolina students who need them most.”
SC Commission on Higher Education president and executive director, Dr. Rusty Monhollon, presented school and district officials the award. Dr. Monhollon said, “The CHE is happy to collaborate with the College Board and recognize our state’s schools doing good work to help students access college, with both application guidance and financial aid. We commend Blythewood High, especially guidance staff, for their service.” 
The CBOS program provides real connections at the student level so students can transition to postsecondary education.  Kim Mudger, College Information Specialist at Blythewood High, commented on the staff’s passion for helping students reach their goals.  “We recognize that navigating the road to college can be challenging for most students. Our goal is to show students opportunities that best fit their needs …and work together to encourage students to meet their full potential and find success in their college and career path. I love talking to former students and finding out how happy they are with their college experience. When they find the right fit, they thrive in their new environment.”
Blythewood High senior Malaika Snyder appreciated Blythewood High’s commitment to students. “I had an amazing college counseling experience with Mrs. Mudger, and I am so grateful for the counseling options that Blythewood High School offers. She made navigating the college application process much less scary and encouraged me to become excited about higher education,” she said.

— Contributed by the SC Commission on Higher Education