College Possible provides intensive coaching and support to low-income students to help them get into and graduate from college. Its model employs AmeriCorps members to execute 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 low-income students 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 33 percent of College Possible participants who graduate from high school go on to attain a bachelor’s degree within six years. Nationally, this compares to a rate of 11 percent for low-income students with similar academic credentials. The organization currently serves 597 students in Chicago with plans for aggressive growth in coming years. 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. This gives us confidence that CPC will maintain quality while pursuing growth.
CPC plans to grow significantly over the next few years. When it launched in 2016, the organization served 145 students, which has grown to 597 students served in 2018. Integral to its early success was CPC’s ability to establish strong relationships with school partners. Looking ahead, the organization will build its fundraising ability to support its growth goals in Chicago. CPC plans to invest in a robust fundraising strategy to build support in the city and will continue to focus on building its board to increase its network.
Strategic Planning: CPC worked with a consultant in 2018 to support the development of its three-year growth plan. A Better Chicago supported CPC in finding a vetted consulting firm and covered 75 percent of the fees.