U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will speak at a college fair at Craigmont High School in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday, Sept 14, to highlight ways that students and parents can access and pay for college, as part of this year’s back-to-school bus tour.

During the event he will share information about the new, early Oct. 1 availability of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Scorecard – both resources that help students prepare to apply for college, and will answer their questions about college. In order to help more students access the more than $150 billion in federal financial aid available, this Administration has simplified and streamlined the FAFSA, cutting down the time it takes to complete. Starting on Oct. 1, students and families will be able to access the FAFSA three months earlier, which allows them to have a more reliable understanding of college costs around the same time that they are searching for, applying to, and even selecting colleges. The Administration has also taken action to empower students and families to make better college choices by providing critical information about college costs and value through the redesigned College Scorecard, which 1.5 million users have accessed since it launched last year.

Afterward, King will give brief remarks at Lafayette’s Music Room where Spotify is hosting an event to celebrate teachers and their commitment to engaging their students through music education.

King and senior Education Department officials are hosting the seventh and final back-to-school bus tour to celebrate progress in communities and states across the country. The tour kicked off in the nation’s capital and is traveling all the way to Louisiana, from Monday, Sept. 12 to Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. This year’s “Opportunity Across America” includes stops in Washington, D.C.; Charlottesville, Virginia; Bristol, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee; Harvest, Alabama; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Indianola, Mississippi; and Monroe, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. King and other senior Department officials will hold events touting the Administration’s key initiatives over eight years, highlighting the progress made to expand opportunity across the nation and the groundwork laid for continued momentum.

President Barack Obama entered office in 2009 with a comprehensive vision for improving our education system to advance our children’s opportunity and success. That vision included efforts to address the dropout crisis, improve student achievement, and increase graduation rates; expand equity in education through stronger schools; ensure all students achieve to high standards that prepare them for college and career; and grow innovation and investment in what works, while safeguarding the right of all students to a world-class education. Thanks to the hard work of educators, state and local leaders, communities, parents, families, and students, the nation has made significant educational progress over the last eight years. To build on our prosperity and competitiveness as a nation, the Administration has worked diligently to make a positive difference for students and to continue the work to deliver on the promise of a world-class education to every child.