The College Board’s Access to Opportunity™ (A2O™) efforts are designed to identify and break down barriers that prevent students—particularly low-income students, first-generation college students, rural students, and students of color—from applying to and enrolling in colleges that are their best academic, social, and financial fit. Our mission is to help all students recognize and make the most of the opportunities they’ve earned.
Here are our current campaigns. See a list of past A2O campaigns.
College Application Fee Waivers
Every income-eligible senior who takes the SAT or SAT Subject Tests using a fee waiver will receive four free college application fee waivers directly from the College Board. In addition, we’re sending certain students these waivers as part of our Realize Your College Potential campaign (details below).
Realize Your College Potential Campaign for the Class of 2018
Select students in the class of 2018 will receive personalized packets in the mail with guidance and resources to help them apply to college.
- College Search Kickoff Mailing: In September 2017, a group of about 118,000 students in the class of 2018 will receive a customized mailing from the College Board that connects them with tools to explore colleges and manage the college application process. An additional 98,000 students will receive the same information via email.
- Personalized Starter College List: As part of this pilot program, some students will receive a personalized list of 12 starter colleges to help them begin the college exploration process. The personalized list of schools is based on where other students from their area, who share their strong PSAT/NMSQT performance, attended college and successfully graduated. Each list includes a “best in-state public college” option, and students will be encouraged to apply to at least six institutions. Download a sample of the brochure with information on evaluating the price of colleges and additional samples of starter college lists.
- Supplemental Support: Some mailing recipients will receive additional resources such as free additional SAT score reports or additional college application fee waivers.
- Texting Guidance: The College Board will periodically send information and reminders to students who opt in to receive text messages. Students who opt in will learn more about topics like net price and receive additional insights about the schools on their college lists. Learn more about our college-guidance texting program.
Virtual Advising Pilot Programs
The Access to Opportunity program is partnering with a number of college advising organizations to offer expert support and guidance to students as they begin their journey to college. Students may be contacted to take part in one of the following programs, both of which are free to students and their families due to the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies:
- College Advising Corps virtual advising pilot program: In the spring of 2017, the College Board invited select juniors to participate in a virtual advising program administered by the College Advising Corps. A nationally-recognized advising organization, the College Advising Corps trains recent college graduates to serve as virtual advisers who will be available by phone, email, chat, and text messaging to answer questions from current high school students about college academics, campus life, and more. Messaging to pilot participants stresses that their virtual advisers are a supplemental resource and that they should continue to rely on in-school counselors as their primary source of college and career advice. Participating students are encouraged to share information about the program and their virtual adviser’s contact information with their school counselor.
The advisers in this program are trained to support students throughout the college application process and can help them:
- Create an application plan
- Provide support on completing FAFSA and scholarship applications
- Review applications and essays
- Manage application and paperwork deadlines
Learn more about the College Advising Corps virtual advising pilot program.
CollegePoint pilot program: Select students in the class of 2018 have been invited to sign up for free virtual college advising through a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies' CollegePoint initiative. Eligible students will receive one-on-one support from an expert adviser via text message, phone, email, or video chat.
Students are under no obligation to sign up for either of these pilots and have the right to decline any interaction with the College Board or its partners.
Tools for Schools and Districts
All students should have access to personalized college guidance. School counselors are the main source of this guidance and play a critical role in the college admission process. The College Board’s Access to Opportunity efforts are not intended to replace the important work that counselors do, but rather to supplement their efforts.
Whether or not students have been selected to participate in one of our campaigns, we encourage school and district staffs to utilize our webinars and resources as they help students successfully navigate the college planning process.
For questions, contact us at [email protected].