CollegeBound works exclusively in Baltimore City public schools to encourage and enable students to pursue a postsecondary education. A secondary goal is to improve the social and economic fabric of the community through an educated workforce. Since 1998, CollegeBound’s nationally recognized college advising model has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of high school students. Alumni credit their College Access Program Specialists (see below) and the highly individualized college advising program with their success.
College Access Program Specialists (CAPS)
In the 2015-2016 academic year, CollegeBound’s direct college advising program reached approximately 10,000 students in 14 Baltimore City public high schools. Each CollegeBound Specialist works on-site in a high school and interacts with students on a daily basis to mentor, advise, assist, and encourage students to pursue a post-secondary education. Specialists provide critical information, assistance, resources, and specialized opportunities to help students successfully navigate the challenges facing low-income and first-generation students throughout the college application process. CollegeBound sponsors school-based college fairs, day and overnight college tours, instructional workshops, and financial aid seminars. Specialists assist students with SAT/ACT registration, submission of college applications, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and applications for scholarships and grants.
CollegeBound’s annual scholarship portfolio currently exceeds $2 million. Over 200 students benefit annually from scholarships and grants awarded through the CollegeBound Foundation. A wide range of community advocates, including foundations, individuals and corporations have selected CollegeBound as their scholarship provider. Special scholarships funded by individual donors or corporations may identify specific criteria. Additionally, CollegeBound funds the need-based Last Dollar Grant program that supports up to 70 Baltimore City public high school graduates annually for up to six years of college.
Last Dollar Grants and Results
The CollegeBound Last Dollar Grant is need-based gap funding to bridge the remaining cost for a student to attend college after all available financial aid has been applied. Students must be Pell Grant-eligible to receive a Last Dollar Grant. Annual awards of up to $3,000 are renewable for up to six years based on academic standing, community service and continued financial eligibility. The graduation rate for recipients of CollegeBound’s Last Dollar Grant is 54.4%--two-and-a-half times the college completion rate of 19.9% for students from similar socioeonomic backgrounds. CollegeBound Last Dollar Grant recipients’ graduation rates approach the national college completion rate of 55.0% for all students regardless of family income (from a four-year school within six years).