College Possible provides intensive coaching and support to students from low-income backgrounds to help them get into and graduate from college. Its model employs AmeriCorps members to execute a curriculum focused on supporting students to navigate the college application process, SAT preparation, and financial aid during 11th and 12th grades of high school. Their support continues beyond high school by providing college transition coaching and intensive support for students through college graduation.
Why We Invested
College Possible empowers students from low-income backgrounds to succeed in college by providing them with the resources and guidance needed to enroll in college and ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree. A 2013 Harvard randomized controlled trial found that College Possible increases participants’ enrollment in four-year colleges by 15 percentage points. The organization’s most recent national data shows that 32 percent of College Possible participants who graduate from high school go on to attain a bachelor’s degree within six years compared to a national rate of 12 percent for low-income households. As College Possible Chicago (CPC) continues to build its presence in the city, the national office will continue to provide robust programmatic, operational and financial support, giving us confidence that CPC will maintain quality while pursuing growth.
College Possible Chicago (CPC) has grown from serving 597 students in 2018 to 1,085 in 2020. While growing their presence locally, they have maintained strong student outcomes well above benchmarks, including college enrollment and persistence. They have continued to demonstrate innovative leadership and operational strength. Looking ahead, CPC plans to prioritize strengthening college-specific supports through career development offerings and innovative virtual tools.
- Strategic planning: College Possible Chicago (CPC) worked with a consultant in 2018 to support the development of a three-year strategic growth plan. A Better Chicago supported CPC in finding a vetted consulting firm and covered 75 percent of the fees.
- Development strategy: CPC conducted a fundraising project to clearly outline strategies and activities needed to successfully drive towards the growth targets identified in the three-year strategic plan project. A Better Chicago supported CPC in selecting a consulting firm and covered 75 percent of project costs.