In our changing global economy, the economic value of higher education is indisputable. The average income for a millennial with a college degree in the United States is USD 45,500 compared with USD 28,000 for those with only a high school diploma. While half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree, just 1 in 10 people from low-income families do. College Advising Corps aims to change these statistics for low-income and underrepresented students, such as young people with learning differences, by placing recent college graduates as full time college advisors in American high schools. College Advising Corps has been an Oak grantee with the Learning Differences Programme since October 2015 and has been working towards helping young people with learning differences in North Carolina to apply for and enroll in college.
The process for applying for post-secondary education in America can be complicated when considering the college testing, applications and financial aid process, for example. With the national student-to-adviser ratio being 450:1, students are largely navigating this process alone. “The majority of my students are first-generation, and even if they want to go to college, they have no clue what even the first step is,” says Clara Ramirez, adviser at John Tyler High School. For students with learning differences, first-generation college students or those from low-income families, the process can be an insurmountable obstacle to enrolment. College Advising Corps advisers become part of the schools community and foster a college-going culture. They help students navigate the paperwork involved with applications and become mentors to prospective college students.
30 per cent of the students who met with one of College Advising Corps college advisers were more likely to apply to university and 24 per cent were more likely to be accepted. “Someone believed in me and now I believe in them,” said one college advisor, “all students deserve a chance to realise their full potential.” said another.
To find out more about College Advising Corps, visit its website.