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.
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, all of which are free to students and their families.
College Advising Corps virtual advising pilot programs:
Class of 2019: Through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the College Board will invite select students in the class of 2019 to participate in a virtual advising program administered by the College Advising Corps.
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 Class of 2019 College Advising Corps virtual advising pilot program.
Class of 2020: In the Fall of 2018, the College Board will invite select students in the class of 2020 to participate in a virtual advising program in partnership with College Advising Corps. Students will have access to a virtual adviser to help provide support through the college preparation process, from junior year through the transition to college.
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.
CollegePoint pilot program:
Select students in the class of 2020 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.
Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, CollegePoint is a virtual advising program that helps high achieving students apply to colleges, find scholarships, navigate the financial aid process, and make college decisions – entirely for free!
Students are under no obligation to sign up for any of these pilots and have the right to decline any interaction with the College Board or its partners.
Indigenous College Planning Guidebook
In spring 2019, the College Board will launch the first release of the Indigenous College Planning Guidebook, a free resource created for Native high school students by a team of Native college students. This physical guide is the first of its kind and fuses college planning best practices with narratives from Native college students to encourage a college going culture. Approximately 15,000 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students in the class of 2020 will receive a printed copy of the first edition of the guidebook in the mail in April 2019. Students who receive the guidebook will be invited to provide feedback to help improve the resource.
Parents are often best positioned to support students' academic success. Starting in September 2018, a group of 15,000 students who have provided a mobile number to text to the College Board will begin to receive text messages around the college application process three times a week through the Ready4College program. Their parents will also be invited to sign up to receive texts through postcards and emails about the program. Students and their parents can opt out of this program at any time.
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].