USA Funds® announces the award of grants totaling more than $1.6 million to three organizations to increase the number of low-income and first-generation students and adult learners with college degrees. USA Funds awarded the funds to the following organizations through its Key Transitions in Postsecondary Education initiative:
- Bright Prospect, Pomona, Calif., $600,000 to increase the number of high school students it serves, and maintain a success rate of more than 90 percent of its program participants persisting in and completing college. Serving seven high schools in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties in California, Bright Prospect provides a comprehensive counseling and peer support system through students’ high school and college years. The organization serves 1,700 students and expects to serve 2,800 students by 2018.
- College Track, Oakland, Calif., $600,000 to expand advising and mentoring support for college students as part of its college success program. College Track operates college access centers that provide after-school programming to students in East Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Calif.; New Orleans; and Aurora, Colo.
During the next three years, College Track expects the number of students it serves to grow to 2,400 from the nearly 1,400 that it currently serves.
- On Point for College Inc., Syracuse, N.Y., $449,089 to increase by 1,500 the number of students it serves during the next three years and expand the range of services it offers incoming freshmen. The organization provides college access and success services — including a team of mobile advising staff who visit community centers in Syracuse and Utica, N.Y., and remedial education programs — to assist inner city, first-generation students as well as adult learners.
“Students from low-income households and those who are first in their families to attend college face barriers both to enrolling in college and to persisting to graduation,” said Robert C. Ballard, USA Funds senior vice president, Access and Outreach. “This grant program tests the notion that when students receive support at key transition points in higher education, they are more likely to succeed and receive their college degrees.”
The initiative focuses on three transition points:
- For traditional students, between high school graduation and the beginning of postsecondary education.
- For adult learners, transitioning into a postsecondary education environment.
- For traditional and nontraditional students, transitioning between the first and second year of college, particularly at the community college level.
USA Funds selected the three programs from among 249 organizations that submitted proposals.