It can be difficult for talented, low-income students with high goals to get into college – but obstacles don’t end when they get admitted to a school. There are plenty of challenges waiting for them there, but there are organizations that strive to change that with free programs to help students finish college.
According to statistics, only 11% of low-income, first-generation students graduate with a four-year degree. There are also racial disparities, as many ethnic groups are underrepresented among the student population. Here, we will discuss 5 non-profits that help students not only get into college, but also graduate successfully.
1. America Needs You
America Needs You is a non-profit organization based in New York City that strives to provide mentoring for first-generation students with low-income backgrounds. It was found in 2009 by an enthusiastic entrepreneur who started with 50 students. Those students developed programs with career development courses and several workshops, as well as in-person classes with a teacher. These programs still exist, and have been expanded to include New Jersey, Illinois and California. America Needs you now has dozens of new programs that help students graduate from college.
2. I’m First
The main goal of I’m First is to help first-generation, low-income students get equal opportunities to graduate from college. Chelsea Jones, CEO, says that virtual mentoring is essential for students who want to be the first in their families to successfully finish college.
I’m First partners with over 180 organizations across the US to offer resources to students in need. These resources help inspire these students. They help them find the best college so they can unveil their full potential.
I’m First also has a blog written by students and graduates. They post about their experiences, and share advice for low-income students to get into college, graduate and build careers.
3. Summer Search
Summer Search is a US-based non-profit organization that partners with many schools in many states on both east and west coasts. This organization works with talented students, helps them prepare for college exams and choose a career through mentoring and specifically developed programs. Summer Search concentrates on academic success, and helps students understand the outside world, and develop critical thinking and curiosity.
According to CEO Amy Saxton, the main goal is to help low-income students get through college so they can graduate as leaders and return to their communities. This organization partners with schools that have low graduation rates, and tries to change the situation for the better.
4. Room to Read
Room to Read is a non-profit that aims to deliver quality education to every student across the globe, enabling children to reach their full potential, develop new skills and contribute to their communities. This organization has transformed the lives of millions of students in developing countries. They develop literacy programs, and strive to achieve gender equality around the world.
Room to Read partners with governments, schools, teachers and students to help children finish primary school, get into college and graduate.
5. College Advising Corps
College Advising Corps aims to increase the number of low-income students who get into college and graduate. This organization collects data and tracks progress, constantly developing new programs and workshops.
According to information on their website, students who have had a College Advising Corps mentor are twice as likely to get into college, participate in exam-prep classes, and graduate successfully.