Education

15 College Readiness Programs To Help You Succeed

college readiness programs

For some, college is the only chance of building a future better than their past.

If that’s the case for you, college readiness is something you’ll want to prioritize. 

College readiness programs for low-income students can be the difference between continuing a cycle of poverty or breaking generational curses

Fortunately, there are many college readiness programs available to help you achieve your dreams of getting out of your neighborhood and into college. 

These programs are designed to give you the knowledge, skills, and resources to excel and graduate from college

In this article, we’ll share a list of 15 college readiness programs that can help you succeed in college and beyond. 

15 College Readiness Programs

1. Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a federally-funded program that targets high school students from low-income families and potential first-generation college students. 

It provides academic tutoring, college advising, and support services to help students prepare for college entrance exams, improve their academic performance, and navigate the college application process. 

Upward Bound also offers college visits and enrichment activities to expose students to the college environment.

2. College Bound

College Bound is a nonprofit organization that offers college preparation services to students in urban areas. 

Through mentoring, academic support, and college exploration workshops, College Bound helps students develop their college lists, complete applications, and secure financial aid. 

One thing to note is that participants in this program have a high college acceptance rate. 

3. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)

AVID is a college readiness program that focuses on closing the achievement gap for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students. 

It emphasizes organizational and study skills, critical thinking, and effective communication. 

AVID students are encouraged to take rigorous courses to better prepare for college-level work, and they receive support through academic tutoring and mentorship.

4. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)

GEAR UP is another federally-funded program that targets low-income students in underserved communities. 

It offers a wide range of services, including academic tutoring, mentoring, college tours, and workshops for students and their families.

GEAR UP also works with schools to create a college-going culture and improve college readiness.

5. College Possible

College Possible is a national nonprofit organization that helps low-income students navigate the college admissions process and succeed in higher education. 

Through near-peer coaching, test preparation, and assistance with financial aid applications, College Possible has supported thousands of students with their dreams of earning a college degree.

6. Strive for College

Strive for College is a national mentoring program that pairs college students with high school students to provide guidance on college preparation and applications. 

The program also offers online resources and tools to help students assess their college options and stay on track during the application process.

7. TRIO Programs

The TRIO Programs, including Talent Search, Educational Opportunity Centers, and Upward Bound Math-Science, are federal outreach and student services programs designed to support low-income, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities

These programs offer a range of services, such as academic tutoring, career counseling, and assistance with financial aid applications.

8. ScholarMatch

ScholarMatch is a college readiness program that combines technology with personalized coaching. 

It connects low-income students with mentors who guide them through the college application process, scholarship searches, and financial aid applications. 

ScholarMatch aims to make college more accessible and affordable for all students.

9. Uplift Education

Uplift’s Road To College & Career program prepares students for life after high school and supports them through college and into a career.

Uplift Education does not have any admission exams or interviews to admit students, they use a random, automated lottery system and are open to all students at least 4 (for Pre-K) or 5 years of age (for Kinder) on or by September 1st.

10. Let’s Get Ready

Let’s Get Ready is a non-profit organization that provides low-income high school students with free SAT preparation, admissions counseling, and other support services needed to gain admission to and graduate from college. 

Programs are based at colleges and are staffed by college student volunteers.

They provide students with free college application and college completion support from junior year of high school through college graduation. 

Services are led by near-peer college student coaches and are tailored to your college journey.

11. Bottom Line

Bottom Line is a nonprofit organization that partners with degree-aspiring students of color from under-resourced communities to get into and through college and successfully launch a career.

High School seniors receive one-on-one guidance from their Bottom Line advisor throughout the college application and decision process. 

College students receive personalized on-campus guidance and support based on their DEAL rubric for up to 6 years or until they graduate. 

12. Fulfillment Fund

Fulfillment Fund works to make college a reality for students growing up in educationally and economically under-resourced communities. 

Their services aim to help students navigate educational barriers and create the support networks future leaders need to succeed.

Fulfillment Fund’s programs focus on four major areas of college access and success: building pathways to college, helping students navigate educational barriers, creating support networks, and empowering future leaders.

13. One Goal

One Goal is a college readiness program working to make college graduation possible for all students.

This teacher-led program identifies and prepares teachers to lead underperforming high school students to reach their full potential and graduate college.

14. Genesys Works

Genesys Works provides pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships.

They create employment opportunities for youth from underserved communities while helping employers fill talent gaps within their companies.

15. Heights Philadelphia

Heights Philadelphia is a non-profit organization that provides promising urban high school students with the tools they need to achieve their dreams of going to college. 

They give Philly’s Black, Brown, and first-generation scholars educational and professional opportunities — and a network of people who believe in them.

Getting Ready For College 

Getting ready for college can be an overwhelming journey.

Especially if you’re a first-generation college student or a low-income student. But don’t be discouraged.

Hopefully, this list of college readiness programs helps bring you one step closer to building that bright future you’ve always dreamed of.

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Over To You

What was most helpful in getting you college ready?

Let us know in the comments section on social @netwerkmovement.

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