college access programs in your community

Posted : January 3, 2007
Last Updated : July 8, 2020

college access programs in your community

College access programs are nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to students who want to pursue education beyond high school.

Services Provided

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.
  • Parental advising. 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.
  • Tutoring services. Because students need good grades to get into college, college access programs also offer tutoring services to their participants.
  • Scholarships. 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:

  • Talent Search. 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. 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. 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. Project GRAD motivates low-income students to reach their educational dreams by providing mentoring, tutoring, and tuition assistance for higher education.
  • TAG. 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


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college access programs in your community

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