With our support, Young Women’s Leadership Network’s (YWLN) CollegeBound Initiative (CBI) is making systemic change to college advising by partnering with the New York City public school system and increasing the number of partner schools in which they are successfully implementing their program, with a substantial financial commitment from the New York City Department of Education.
CollegeBound Initiative is a high-touch college guidance and access program that places highly-trained, full-time college counselors in YWLN schools and partners with high-need New York City public schools to serve predominately low-income, first-generation-to-college students.
CBI’s college guidance program begins early on with college and career awareness and preparation activities in 6th through 12th grade, including early awareness lessons in the classroom, college exposure through trips, fairs, and recruiter visits, and an on-site SAT prep course/registration through partnerships with Ivy Key, A List, CollegeSpring, and Bell Curve. In 11th grade, students receive one-on-one college counseling, application/selection workshops and assistance, skill-building workshops, parent outreach, financial aid counseling, FAFSA application support and assistance, and student advocacy with college aid officers. Rising 12th grade students participate in the CollegeBound Summer Institute at Gettysburg College for experiential learning and engage in overnight visits to partner colleges during the academic year. CBI counselors work with students to develop individualized safety, target, and reach college lists, and continue to provide support through selection and enrollment.
Between 2001 and 2014, CBI achieved a 94%+ college acceptance rate and 86% college matriculation rate (74% of students attend a four-year college). With a low cost per student, there is great potential for CBI to impact the landscape of in-school college readiness programming across a growing number of New York City schools.