CollegePoint, An Initiative Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Makes A Hard Decision Less Lonely
Some high school students think of applying to colleges as a full-time job. There are essays and tests, loads of financial documents to assemble and calculations to make. After all that comes a big decision — one of the biggest of their young lives.
For top students who come from low-income families, the challenge is particularly difficult.
Research shows that 1 in 4 juggle all of that — the writing, the studying, the researching and applying — completely on their own. One approach to make this whole process easier? Pair students up with someone who can help, a mentor or adviser, virtually.
That's the idea behind CollegePoint, an initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Here's how it works: When a high school student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher takes a standardized test — the PSAT, SAT or ACT — and they do well (scoring in the 90th percentile), and their families make less than $80,000 a year, they get an email from the program offering them a free virtual adviser.
Each year, about 75,000 students meet the above criteria. Partnering with four nonprofits that are doing similar work in the college advising space — Matriculate, College Advising Corps, College Possible and ScholarMatch — CollegePoint was able to work with 15,000 students planning to attend college this fall. The organization expects to more than double that next year.
It doesn't matter where the student lives. High school students have access to an adviser whenever they need — via text, Facebook messenger, email, Skype, Google Docs or the tried-and-true telephone call...