NPR

How Virtual Advisers Help Low-Income Students Apply To College

Nearly one-fourth of high-achieving students from low-income families apply to college completely on their own. One approach to make the experience better? Pair students up with a virtual adviser.
Source: Sam Rowe for NPR

Our Take A Number series is exploring problems around the world through the lens of a single number.

Some high school students think of applying to colleges as a full-time job. There are essays and tests, loads of financial documents to assemble and calculations to make. After all that, of course, comes a big decision — one of the biggest of their young lives.

For top students who come from low-income families, the challenge is particularly difficult.

Research shows that 1 in 4 juggle all of that — the writing, the studying, the researching and applying — completely on their own. One approach to make this whole process easier? Pair students up with someone who can help, a mentor or adviser, virtually.

That's the idea behind CollegePoint, an initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Here's how it works: When a high school student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher takes a standardized test — the PSAT, SAT or ACT

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