Below is a list of past Access to Opportunity™ initiatives. See a list of current A2O campaigns.
Realize Your College Potential Campaign for the Class of 2017
Select students in the class of 2017 received personalized packets in the mail with guidance and resources to help them apply to college. These packages included:
- College Search Kickoff Mailing: Beginning in September 2016, select students in the class of 2017 received information designed to help them begin exploring colleges, including BigFuture resources, a checklist of application-related activities, and a personalized starter list of colleges. The personalized list of schools was based on where other students from their area, who share their strong PSAT/NMSQT® performance, attended college, and successfully graduated. The list was intended to provide examples that may help students in the early stages of college exploration. Select students received two or eight additional college application fee waivers in their mailing. Some students who previously used an SAT fee waiver also received two or eight additional free flexible SAT score reports; the additional free flexible score reports were available to students online through their College Board account. Additional college application fee waivers and free flexible score reports were made available to select eligible students as part of ongoing research to evaluate the appropriateness of existing policies and identify recommendations for future improvements. Download a sample of the brochure with information on evaluating the price of colleges and additional samples of starter college lists. Some students received a version of the brochure with emphasis on evaluating the price of colleges, while others received a version with emphasis on evaluating academic fit.
- Financial Aid Kickoff Mailing: Beginning in November 2016, select students who received our September college-planning mailing received a follow-up packet with valuable information about how to apply for financial aid and a checklist to help them complete the FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE applications. Also included was advice on how to find and apply for scholarships using BigFuture’s Scholarship Search tool. A list of free resources from the U.S. Department of Education and the College Board was also in the packet. Download a sample of the brochure here.
Why Not Us?
Produced in partnership with Roadtrip Nation, Why Not Us? is a film about the ways in which first-generation college students can navigate barriers. CBWhyNotUs.org supplies the film—which aired across the country on PBS— to schools and community-based organizations. The site includes a link to the full version of the documentary, a companion discussion guide with links to college planning resources, a five-minute promotional trailer, and information on the students in the film.
SMS/Text Messaging Pilot
The College Board continues to explore SMS/texting as a channel to give students information about the college planning process, such as reminders about key deadlines and applying for financial aid. We invited select students to take part in texting programs. These students can let us see how well the programs work before we make them widely available.
- Class of 2017 : Students in the class of 2017 a who provided their consent and agreed to be contacted via text message received reminders from the College Board around key deadlines in the college application lifecycle. The program is slated to continue through the students’ respective graduation dates.
The College Board continues to evaluate the role of virtual advising in supporting students, and helping relieve the burden of high student-to-counselor ratios on students and counselors. Students who received the Realize Your College Potential mailings and have questions about their college applications are encouraged to speak with their school counselors, but also have access to some other on-demand support. This includes:
- Ask Us: Students may text or call the College Board for assistance with their questions. Questions submitted via text will be monitored and answered by trained College Advising Corps advisers. Phone calls are supported by College Board staff in addition to trained College Advising Corps advisers.
- Virtual Advising via Text Message and Phone: Select students who received the Realize Your College Potential mailings were also invited to participate in a virtual advising pilot program with uAspire and the College Advising Corps via phone and text messaging. Students always have the option to decline any interaction with the College Board or our partners.
- CollegePoint Program: Select students from the class of 2017 were invited to sign up for free virtual college advising in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies' CollegePoint initiative. Eligible students received one-on-one support from an expert adviser via text message, phone, email, or video chat.
Realize Your College Potential campaign for the Class of 2016
Select students in the class of 2016 received personalized packets in the mail with guidance and resources to help them apply to college. These packets included:
- College Search Kickoff Mailing: In May 2015, select students in the class of 2016 received information designed to help them begin exploring colleges, including BigFuture resources, a checklist of application-related activities, and a personalized starter list of colleges.
- College Application Kickoff Mailing: In September 2015, select students in the class of 2016 received personalized packets in the mail with guidance and resources to help them apply to college. The packets included information on applying to college, finalizing college lists, finding scholarships, and learning about financial aid options. Some students also received four Realize Your College Potential college application fee waivers that are accepted at more than 100 colleges and universities. Download a sample of the brochure and college application timeline.
- Financial Aid Kickoff Mailing: In January 2016, select students in the class of 2016 received personalized packets in the mail with guidance and resources about financial aid, along with student and parent checklists to help them complete their FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® applications. Some students were also invited to participate in a one-time, 30-minute phone call with uAspire, a national leader in college affordability advising. Students were able to use this opportunity to ask questions about federal and state financial aid application requirements. Download a sample of the brochure.