The Need

Nationally, the student-to-counselor ratio is over 482:1, leaving many students with as little as 20 minutes a year with a college counselor. High-need students often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college, apply to best-fit schools and for financial aid, enroll, and and graduate.

In today’s economy, postsecondary education has become the single most important step that many young people can take to boost economic mobility and transform lives, communities, and the nation at large.

Nevertheless, too many students are not applying to college. The socioeconomic enrollment gap is a major challenge for our nation. Studies show high-income students are 16% more likely to enroll in colleges than equally qualified low-income students. In fact, 25% of low-income students who score in the top quartile on standardized tests never go to college.

Change is possible. Connecting students to the postsecondary education that suits their interests, abilities, and ambitions can change the trajectory of their lives—and the futures of their families, their communities, and our country.

The path to economic equity runs through college…
  • When children born into the bottom fifth of the income distribution get a college degree, their chances of making it to the top quartile nearly quadruple, and their chances of making it out of the bottom quartile increase by more than 50%.[4]
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts has found that 47% of adults without a bachelor’s degree who grew up in the bottom family income quintile remained in the bottom quintile, compared with just 10% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree.[5]
  • The median earnings of the college-educated worker are 84% higher than the median earnings of a worker with only a high school education.[6]

College Advising Corps has built a results-oriented near-peer adviser approach that is increasing the postsecondary enrollment of students from low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented backgrounds.

We hope that you will join us in activating the next generation of leaders to propel one million low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students to college by 2025.

* All data is from these Stanford-affiliated researchers unless otherwise noted.
[1]  The American Council on Education
[2] The National Association for College Admission Counseling and the American School Counselor Association
[3] The New York Times
[4] Executive Office of the President
[5] And see: The Pew Charitable Trusts found that 47% of adults without a bachelor’s degree who grew up in the bottom family income quintile remained in the bottom quintile, compared with just 10% of those with at least a bachelor’s degree (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2012, Pursuing the American Dream: Economic Mobility Across Generations, Figures 3 and 18).
[6] Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
[7] Pew Charitable Trusts