Access to college and college preparatory programs remain a significant hurdle for many Minnesota K-12 youth who are committed to an education beyond high school. Our member schools support and engage with many efforts for first-generation, low-income and students of color to increase high school graduation and college readiness. We work most closely with:
The Right investment Opportunity for college access, degree attainment and workforce development (TRiO) programs help low-income Americans enter college and graduate. There are currently 31 public and private colleges, universities and agencies in Minnesota that are home to federally-funded TRiO programs. They serve more than 12,000 middle and high school students; 2,000 at Minnesota's private colleges and universities. Augsburg University, Carleton College, the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University, The College of St. Scholastica, St. Olaf College and the University of St. Thomas have one or more federal TRiO programs on their campuses.
More information about Minnesota TRiO programs
Get Ready! and GEAR UP
Get Ready! and its associated program, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), consist of a variety of early intervention educational services for Minnesotans and their school-age children. These programs have a special emphasis on families with low incomes, families of color and families with no previous college experience. The two programs use a combination of federal and state funds to break down misperceptions about how much college costs, to encourage families' financial planning and students' academic preparation, and to educate students and families about career awareness and post-high school education options.
Program messages are delivered through college planning presentations, school counselors, theater performances for elementary and middle school classes, pamphlets, magazines, videos and the Internet.
College Possible makes college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Coaches, serving as AmeriCorps members, guide high school students through the key aspects of preparing for college during after-school sessions -- two hours, twice a week. During their junior and senior years, students complete 320 hours of curriculum in a supportive group of college-bound peers. College Possible high school graduates are coached through the transition to college and are supported all the way through college graduation.
College Possible began in Minnesota and has since expanded to Illinois, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.