Strive for College helps low-income students navigate college admissions

November 2012 │ New York

College admissions mentoring program expands in New York with Deutsche Bank's support.

The college admissions process can be complex and intimidating, especially without appropriate guidance. With limited information about college and little support available in under-resourced schools, even high-achieving students can find it exceedingly difficult to navigate the college search.  According to Strive, “in 2010, 400,000 low-income high school students graduated qualified to attend four-year colleges but never enrolled” and “half that number will attend no higher education at all.” Strive for College seeks to correct inequities of college access that are perpetuated through lack of information and guidance in low-income high schools nationwide.

According to Strive, college counselors at private schools spend roughly twice as much time as public school counselors giving college advice. In many under-resourced public schools, low-income students have little or no access to adequate college counseling. Many of those who do pursue higher education tend to “under-match” by attending more familiar or less competitive institutions that may not always fit academically or financially. As a result, America’s most selective colleges and universities enroll a disproportionately small percentage of low-income students.

To solve this problem, Strive recruits undergraduate student mentors from local universities to guide low-income high school students through the process of applying to, enrolling in and paying for four-year colleges and universities. Because college mentors have the recent experience of successfully applying to college, they are particularly well-prepared to provide guidance to high school students facing the process. Through its online platform and one-on-one mentoring, Strive aims to provide proper knowledge, tools and assistance about concerns such as the college search, standardized testing, admissions essays and financial aid. During weekly sessions, mentors help college applicants prepare for higher education throughout the admissions and enrollment process.

With Deutsche Bank’s grant support, Strive for College’s nationwide program has been able to expand its presence in New York City. In its first two years in NY, Strive has worked with 49 high school/college student pairs in three public high schools. This year's support will help the organization quadruple that number to reach 200 pairs in seven high schools. Deutsche Bank also sponsors the organization’s annual mentor conference, which imparts best practices and advice.

Click here to learn more about Strive for College and here to see a video from the 2012 Strive Conference.

To see a recent CNN report on Strive, please click here.

A high school student and mentor working together during one of Strive for College's sessions. enlarge

A high school student and mentor working together during one of Strive for College's sessions.

A high school student and mentor working together during one of Strive for College's sessions.

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