In an effort to reach under-resourced, low-income, first generation-to-college, and underrepresented students who historically fail to apply to college or who "undermatch" academically and in terms of financial aid, several members of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success are reaching out to counselors and mentors at higher education access community-based organizations (CBOs).
Our interests in helping community-based organizations
- A simple need to create an alternative application blossomed into an effort to improve higher education access for underserved and under-represented populations.
- Helping students gain confidence around college costs and learn about financial aid options is one of the Coalition's goals.
- The free online tools we offer benefit students by giving them a virtual space to gather accomplishments, experiment with essay ideas, and find guidance for high school academic planning and college application preparation.
- The digital Locker is a student-only space. The concept of counselors helping well-resourced students construct a “perfect” Locker is a false one.
- The Collaboration Platform is a space where students elect to share items from their Lockers with mentors. For CBOs that gather a cohort of scholars for immersive summer programming, the Collaboration space is an ideal way to continue one-on-one counseling after their students return home. (And it's free!)
- Engaging students in college conversations earlier in high school—freshman year, for example—starts the creation of a college-going culture right away. For CBOs that follow a similar timeline, our early engagement plan coincides perfectly with their own principles. For CBOs that start intervening junior-year, reaching students who have already been positively-engaged in the college process for a couple of (unstressful) years is a bonus.
- The technology we provide is geared to offer counseling that is beneficial to all students, but absolutely crucial to students coming from under-resourced high schools and first generation-to-college homes.