College Access Programs in Your CommunityJanuary 3, 2007
Updated: July 8, 2020
This post was previously published on eCampustours.com. The information provided is subject to change over time.
College access programs are nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to students who want to pursue education beyond high school.
Services Provided by College Access Programs
Some of the services provided by college access programs include:
Financial Aid counseling
College access program administrators are available to counsel students regarding financial aid. They can help students fill out the FAFSA, remind students of important financial aid deadlines, answer questions regarding grants, scholarships, work-study, and student loans, etc.
College Admissions Counseling
Staff members can also provide students with assistance involving college admissions. Topics of interest may include ACT/SAT test prep, college selection, essay writing, letters of recommendation, etc.
Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from college access programs. Many programs counsel parents as they prepare to send their children to college.
College Access Centers
Many programs have centers where students can receive one-on-one guidance and have the opportunity to search through resources about test preparation, scholarship searching, career planning, etc.
Because students need good grades to get into college, college access programs also offer tutoring services to their participants.
Some programs offer scholarship funding to help their participants achieve their educational goals.
Early Awareness Activities
Many college access programs introduce higher education opportunities to elementary and middle school students so they can properly plan for college.
Types of College Access Programs
There are various types of college access programs. Some of the most common ones include:
This program encourages disadvantaged students to complete high school and pursue postsecondary education. It focuses on students who meet low-income guidelines and who will be first-generation college students. Talent Search provides academic, career, and financial counseling.
Upward Bound helps students better prepare for college. As with Talent Search, it focuses on low-income, first-generation students. This program provides academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign languages. It also provides counseling to its participants.
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) works with schools to boost college awareness among students and parents. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to offer services at high-poverty middle and high schools.
Project GRAD motivates low-income students to reach their educational dreams by providing mentoring, tutoring, and tuition assistance for higher education.
The TAG (Talented and Gifted) program is designed to meet the educational and emotional needs of talented students. Students are selected for the TAG program based upon teacher recommendations, parent request, and student performance on standardized tests. This program allows accelerated students to stay on the college prep track in a fast-paced, challenging environment.
For more information about college access programs, talk to your school counselor. For a list of programs in your community, visit casp.nacacnet.org.