The College Initiative is dedicated to help low-income and underserved secondary students in America, who do not have adequate access to college counseling, standardized test preparation, and college admissions services which are typically available to their more affluent peers. The reality is without these services, many low-income and underserved high school students will not have the opportunity to get into college, let alone be competitive for acceptance at universities.
The College Initiative began its outreach in 2010 in the Greater Mississippi Delta, where the poverty line cuts deep and educational inequality is starkly apparent. In this region:
• 100% of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch and the median household income is $25,554
• Only 14% of graduating seniors meet all four college readiness benchmarks,
• Only 21% of adults have at least an associate degree,
• 90% of seniors need remediation in Math, Science, or English,
• 85% of students who attend college drop out,
• The average ACT score is only 13, compared to 22—the score needed for consideration as "college ready."
The achievement gap reflected in these statistics extends to dealing with the basics of applying to college. Students typically lack guidance and understanding in how to file financial aid paper work (FAFSA), struggle with constructing a personal statement, and are not aware of scholarship opportunities outside of state schools.
Working with local school systems, Th
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