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Thursday, July 21, 2011
College Admission Possible
Drowned out in the national conversation about the competitive college admissions environment is a discussion about the students who never even make it to the drawing board. Hopeful high school juniors are veritably snowed under with the stress of standardized tests, US News & World Report Rankings, books on how to game the college admissions process, and, perhaps, pressure from well-meaning but overzealous parents. Well, maybe not all high school juniors.
Each year in the United States, there are more than 200,000 low-income high school students who want to go to college, but don't. Admission Possible is a non-profit organization that was created with the aim of helping at least some of those 200,000 create a different future for themselves-including college admission. The gap between rich and poor students in the path towards a college education creates problems of social inequity, and according to some opinions, threatens the future economic health of the country.
Since its founding in 2000, Admission Possible boasts that 98% of their students have gained college admission. The organization relies on fundraising and federal grants for its operating costs. It has received attention in recent years since its model for staffing is based upon a system of national service championed by the Obama administration (employees are paid a small fixed salary and receive a federally subsidized education credit). Staff work as teachers/mentors/counselors for low-income students, helping them to make college admission a reality.
Organizations such as these help breathe new life into a process that, while grueling, has long been the private province of the wealthier. Surely, opening up the option of college admissions to a greater pool of qualified and valuable students will help make the landscape of higher education more interesting and rewarding for everyone involved.
Labels: college admission possible
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