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Press Releases

Investing in Student Success

Six local investors are supporting CoFo’s CoPilot information system with a $200,000 social impact loan aimed at sharing knowledge and increasing student success. Read on to learn more!

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College Forward | 04.18.17

Investing in Student Success

CoFo Receives $200k Social Impact Loan from Local Investors

AUSTIN — College Forward, an Austin-based nonprofit aimed at increasing postsecondary success for low-income and first-generation college students, is thrilled to announce a social impact loan of $200,000 from six local Austin investors. The investment will support the expansion of CoPilot, College Forward’s in-house student information system.

With an ultimate goal of increasing success for an additional 300,000 students nationwide, the investment will be used to grow CoPilot through increased partnerships with college success organizations. Built on a cloud-based Salesforce platform, CoPilot allows educators and advisors to analyze student information in order to make timely, data-driven interventions that help keep students on the path to college success.

The investment has already allowed College Forward to expand the CoPilot team to meet growing demand, and secure contracts with ten new organizations serving a combined total of 25,000 low-income students. Over the course of four years, College Forward aims to generate dozens of new CoPilot partners and over $3 million in revenue, which will be reinvested into core programs.

“After a decade of research and evaluation CoPilot has emerged as a premier tool for college success organizations, and a successful earned income initiative for College Forward,” said College Forward CEO Austin Buchan. “We are excited to bring our efforts to scale and to leverage this innovative funding tool to help further our mission of expanding college and career success for 300,000 underserved students across the country.”

The investment is one of the first of its kind in Austin, and an example of emerging philanthropy methods that generate both financial returns and social benefits. Through the model, investors can have a meaningful and immediate impact on a local nonprofit, while creating an opportunity for capital to be reinvested in the community. In this way, a single investment can repeatedly facilitate positive social change.

Investors in the project include Dan and Lisa Graham (Notley Ventures), Clayton and Carly Christopher (CAVU Venture Partners), John Thornborrow (Austin Impact Capital), Eric Stumberg, the Aragona Family Foundation, and the Austin Community Foundation.

“Given CoPilot’s previous record of success, we were thrilled by the chance to help College Forward create a sustainable and scalable funding solution,” said Dan Graham of Notley Ventures. “We’re eager to support organizations seeking innovative funding models, and our hope is that more nonprofits start to explore impact investments as a way of amplifying their missions.”

CoPilot is already making a difference for college success organizations across the nation, with 29 partner agencies serving over 178,000 students. One success was highlighted during Austin’s 2017 SXSWedu festival, where College Forward and partner tnAchieves presented a case study of CoPilot’s impact on Tennessee’s statewide tuition-free community college initiative, Tennessee Promise.

About College Forward

College Forward is a college success organization that specializes in coaching low-income and first-generation students to and through college. Through strategic partnerships, innovative technology, and students-first policy initiatives, College Forward aims to reshape the higher education experience for underserved students across the nation. Since its founding in 2003, College Forward has grown from a cohort of 30 high school students to an organization serving over 8,000 high school and college students.

Fixing the FAFSA in Washington DC

CoFo shared student FAFSA stories and experiences as part of a mission to simplify federal aid for students and families – read on to learn more!

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College Forward | 02.17.17

Fixing the FAFSA in Washington DC

For most students preparing for college, navigating the current Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application is a necessary but often convoluted process. Even with changes intended to speed and simplify the experience — including earlier FAFSA submission deadlines and the incorporation of prior-prior year tax data — the complexity and length of the application often results in errors and low completion rates, with over $24 billion going unclaimed in federal aid each year.

For this reason College Forward, in partnership with the National College Access Network (NCAN) and its member organizations around the country, has participated in a national push to simplify the FAFSA and help more students receive the aid they need to succeed.

In early February 2017 College Forward joined NCAN policy council members in several days of FAFSA advocacy. After a morning summit that included a presentation of NCAN’s latest report, “Half the FAFSA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Student Aid” and a panel discussion with students from around the country, NCAN policy council members met with Congressional offices to share student stories and experiences regarding federal financial aid. On behalf of students in the Lone Star State, College Forward visited the offices of U.S. Senator John Cornyn and U.S. Representatives Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett, Will Hurd, and John Ratcliffe.

 

For more information on NCAN’s FAFSA simplification efforts and proposals, visit www.collegeaccess.org/fixfafsa.

CoFo Partners with First Lady to Help Students Reach Higher

College Forward is thrilled to partner with the First Lady’s Office and Civic Nation on a new initiative to provide students across the country with personalized information and encouragement about important college deadlines and resources.

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College Forward | 07.19.16

CoFo Partners with First Lady to Help Students Reach Higher

 

College Forward is thrilled to partner with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and Civic Nation to provide students with personalized information and encouragement about important college deadlines and resources.

Building on over a decade of success coaching underserved students across Texas, College Forward will use the Up Next text messaging tool to connect one-on-one with students, helping them accomplish important milestones on their path to a college degree. Studies have shown that purposeful text messages can effectively motivate students to complete college and financial aid tasks at higher rates than other interventions.

In addition to College Forward’s high-touch in-person mentoring services, students will receive personalized text reminders that will further increase college access, college matriculation, and college success. Combined with its powerful student information system, CoPilot, Up Next will enable College Forward to effectively harness the power of technology to amplify its impact.

The partnership was highlighted at the third annual White House Beating the Odds Summit, which celebrates the accomplishments of college-bound high school seniors from across the nation, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college. For more information, follow @FLOTUS and @BetterMakeRoom on Twitter.

We are very excited to expand our reach to more students!

 

CoFo Student Hacking it up at Facebook HQ

The First Lady’s Reach Higher Campaign invited College Forward to attend a 3-hour hackathon at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Executive Director Austin Buchan and Texas State student Alexander Molina represented CoFo at the event – learn more about what they created!

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College Forward | 04.22.16

CoFo Student Hacking it up at Facebook HQ

The First Lady’s Reach Higher Campaign invited College Forward to attend a 3-hour hackathon at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Executive Director Austin Buchan asked Texas State first-year student Alexander Molina to be the voice for over 6,000 College Forward students.

Alex teamed up with Facebook engineers, students and teachers from across the country to design solutions that drive college graduation rates nationwide. Alex and his team of students started at the base of the problem – getting students to understand the importance of time management and accountability before entering college. The team proposed College Boot Camp, a phone-app for high school seniors that requires completion of listed daily chores and tasks.

Alex says College Boot Camp allows students to compare the demands of their high school life to future college challenges.

“Students will be ready, and know what to expect regarding the demand in work and troubleshooting [for college].”

Currently, Facebook developers are synchronizing and coding the application.

Before leaving to San Marcos, we asked Alex a few questions about his trip to California.

 
What was Facebook Like?
I’m from Kyle, so this was a new experience. I didn’t see myself there. Seriously, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. I mostly do local things so venturing somewhere unknown was really exciting. They had free food everywhere. A lot of the students knew each other already, but I was able to talk to teachers from the Teacher’s Guild organization about higher education for Latino students. Pretty fun.

How will you incorporate what you’ve learned in your daily student life?
I learned the importance of hacking. Hacking is where you take problem-solving ideas and turn them into action. Unlike brainstorming, you’re mostly throwing out ideas, but with Hacking you’re intensely trying to solve the problem in short amount of time. It makes you go deeper to solve the problem. This is something I’ll take back to student government next year, as a Senator. [We need] ideas that won’t get stuck in legislation, so we can work as a cohesive group and compromise.

What encouraging words do you have to share with fellow College Forward students?
Keep moving Forward. You can’t wait around to get something done. Meet people who share the same interests as you and who can help you grow. I want to continue helping people in need. As a Senator, for the next legislative session at Texas State, I plan to help focus on creating a Latino Culture Center so students can feel comfortable when seeking help. Then bring in an immigration lawyer, free of charge, for undocumented students. It’s so hard as a student to continue with classes while searching for the funds to pay lawyer fees.

In the end, I want to help my people!

 

It’s a great day to be a Bobcat. Eat ’em Up!

 


Editor’s Note: A special thanks to the love and support from the staff, friends and Texas State University, who truly believed in a student’s motivation. The Alex2FB – GoFundMe Campaign uncovered so much support we have in the community. We at College Forward appreciate your dedication to help students’ dreams come true.

College Forward Recognized Among Most Effective in Nation at Increasing Latino Student Success in College

College Forward added to America’s largest inventory of proven practices for accelerating degree completion among Latinos Hillary Clinton video message marks 10 years of national initiative inspired by her work on Latino higher education issues as First Lady Austin, TX – Elected officials and higher education leaders from across the country come together at the…

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College Forward | 09.22.15

College Forward Recognized Among Most Effective in Nation at Increasing Latino Student Success in College

College Forward added to America’s largest inventory of proven practices for accelerating degree completion among Latinos

Hillary Clinton video message marks 10 years of national initiative inspired by her work on Latino higher education issues as First Lady

Austin, TX – Elected officials and higher education leaders from across the country come together at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., today to announce the 2015 Examples of Excelencia, America’s top programs that increase higher education achievement for Latino students. Excelencia in Education, the non-profit that conceived and runs this national initiative, honored College Forward’s program as a National Finalist among America’s top programs that increase academic opportunities and increase achievement for Latino students.

College Forward was selected from among 265 programs from 30 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia nominated in four categories: associates degree, bachelors degree, graduate degree, and community-based organization.

College Forward is an Austin-based college access and success program whose intensive, culturally-appropriate mentoring propels underserved students to collegiate success. With a goal of building and sharing effective solutions, they collaborate with other respected practitioners across Texas and the U.S. to combine and distill ‘best practices’ into highly-efficient program models, supported by a robust student information system that both drives student outcomes and yields critical data for longitudinal research. College Forward’s goal is to put themselves out of business by 2040” by developing, proving, and systematizing strong mentoring programs and interventions that support low-income and first-generation students throughout the higher education pathway. Since 2003 College Forward has delivered a college access and completion program to Hispanic students that gets results: 99% of College Forward’s students apply to and are accepted to higher education, 90% matriculate within one year of high school graduation, and 45% complete postsecondary education.

“We are honored to be named as a finalist for the Examples of Excelencia initiative,” says College Forward Executive Director Austin Buchan. “We view this important designation as a call to continue our relentless pursuit of our mission to ensure that all underserved, motivated Hispanic students achieve the benefits of higher education and a college degree.”

Examples of Excelencia is the only national initiative to systematically identify and promote evidence-based programs and departments effectively boosting Latino enrollment, performance and graduation. Celebrating its 10th year, Examples of Excelencia was inspired by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s 1999 Convening on Latino Youth, a historic, first-ever White House gathering that resulted in the publication, “What Works for Latino Youth.” To mark this year’s anniversary, Clinton produced a special video tribute that premiered during today’s program. Over the past decade, Examples of Excelencia has reviewed more than 1,300 program nominations and recognized over 150 programs across the nation.

Today’s announcement event, Celebraciòn de Excelencia, coincided with the release of the 2015 edition of “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education,” a compendium of all 20 recognized programs along with the evidence of their success. Through this annual process, Excelencia in Education continues to grow America’s largest inventory of programs and strategies that education leaders, policymakers, and others tap into to accelerate degree completion among Latinos.

“As one of this year’s Finalists, College Forward is at the forefront improving higher educational achievement for Latino students and we congratulate them for their current and continued efforts,” said Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education. “By increasing awareness of top programs like this, informing program strategies, and reinforcing investment in what works, Examples of Excelencia is creating new energy and inspiring a network of action-oriented leaders to discover and implement innovations that are effective with Latino and other post-traditional students.”

To download “What Works for Latino Student Success in Higher Education,” which includes detailed information about all of the programs recognized today, visit www.EdExcelencia.org.

“We remain committed to advancing what works to support educators, community leaders, funders, and policymakers to take an asset-based approach to serving Latino students,” said Deborah Santiago, COO and Vice President of Excelencia in Education and author of the publication. “You can count on us to continue inspiring, informing, and supporting the recognition, replication and scale of evidence-based practices that serve Latino students and thus serve the country.”

Examples of Excelencia is presented in collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The 2015 sponsors are ACT, Comcast NBCUniversal, Telemundo, Univision, DeVry Education Group, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the Edwin Gould Foundation, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and PG&E Corporation.


Excelencia in Education accelerates Latino student success in higher education by promoting Latino student achievement, conducting analysis to inform educational policies, and advancing institutional practices while collaborating with those committed and ready to meet the mission. Launched in 2004 in the nation’s capital, Excelencia is building a network of results-oriented educators and policymakers to address the U.S. economy’s need for a highly educated workforce and engaged civic leadership. For more information, visit: www.EdExcelencia.org.

College Forward Named “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” By White House Initiative

In recognition of our successful efforts supporting the postsecondary ambitions of native-born, immigrant, and undocumented students, College Forward has been named a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. As a Bright Spot, College Forward will be part of a national online catalog that includes over 230…

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College Forward | 09.15.15

College Forward Named “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” By White House Initiative

In recognition of our successful efforts supporting the postsecondary ambitions of native-born, immigrant, and undocumented students, College Forward has been named a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. As a Bright Spot, College Forward will be part of a national online catalog that includes over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics.

Celebrating its 25th year, the White House Initiative seeks to leverage these national Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.

Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the Initiative, made the announcement on Tuesday, September 15 in honor of the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. “There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential,” said Ceja.

College Forward has built one of the most effective college access and completion programs in the country: 99% of College Forward’s students apply to and are accepted to higher education, 90% matriculate within one year of high school graduation, and we are driving furiously toward a 65% postsecondary completion rate. College Forward’s Hispanic students earn degrees and credentials at five times the rate of Hispanic students in Texas.

To learn more about the Initiative and to view the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education national online catalog visit www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative. Please join College Forward in celebrating this enormous honor and join the conversation on social media:

Hashtag: #HHM, #LatinosAchieve
Twitter: @HispanicEd, @College Forward

 

ABOUT COLLEGE FORWARD:

College Forward is an Austin, Texas-based college access and college completion program, founded in 2003 to combat a decades-long decline in higher education achievement for low-income students. With a single goal – a postsecondary credential for every student – College Forward provides intensive mentoring for low-income and first-generation students whose education, without our services, would most likely end soon after high school. We currently serve more than 6,000 students from Central, West, and Gulf Coast, Texas, at 18 high schools and more than 115 colleges across the nation.

College Forward Students are Beating the Odds, Invited to White House

Two CoFo students have been invited to participate in the Beating the Odds Summit, a landmark White House celebration of the achievements of underserved students in higher education. Andrea Alegria and Ruby Rodriguez-Segoviano are in Washington, D.C. with Executive Director Austin Buchan to be recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and our nation’s education leaders for their outstanding achievements. Follow their updates on Twitter!

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College Forward | 07.20.15

College Forward Students are Beating the Odds, Invited to White House

White-House-Logo

Two College Forward students have been invited to participate in the Beating the Odds Summit, a landmark celebration of the achievements of underserved students in higher education at the White House this week. Andrea Alegria and Ruby Rodriguez-Segoviano will travel to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday with College Forward Executive Director Austin Buchan to be recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and our nation’s education leaders for their outstanding higher education achievements.

As part of her Reach Higher initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome more than 130 college-bound students from across the country to participate in the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit. These students are being sponsored by 70 non-profit organizations, and represent a mix of urban, rural, foster, homeless, special needs, and under-represented youth who have overcome substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college. Building on College Forward’s commitment to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment made at the White House College Opportunity Day of Action earlier this year, this event will focus on sharing tools and strategies students can use to successfully transition to college and the resources they will need to persist and complete the next level of their education.

The day-long event will include a panel moderated by E! News host Terrence Jenkins, which will feature First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, musical artist Wale, and Manuel Contreras, a rising senior at Brown University and co-founder of 1vyG. Wale will also perform a concert for the students.

Additionally, students will participate in workshops and panels led by the U.S. Department of Education, Google’s Jaime Casap, and other leaders in K-12 and post-secondary education.

Please join us in congratulating Andrea and Ruby on this remarkable achievement, and we invite you to follow their journey this week and join the conversation on social media:

Hashtag: #ReachHigher
Twitter: @FLOTUS, @ReachHigher, @College Forward
Instagram: @MichelleObama, @ReachHigher2020@CollegeForward

College Forward Takes to the Texas Capitol

College Forward made a bold move at the opening of the 84th Texas legislative session, introducing policymakers to the people most affected by higher education legislation: Texas students. On Wednesday, January 28th, College Forward graduates descended on the Texas State Capitol to meet with representatives and share their stories of persevering through higher education. 

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College Forward | 01.30.15

College Forward Takes to the Texas Capitol

College Forward graduates get their game faces on at the Texas Capitol.

College Forward graduates get their game faces on at the Texas Capitol.

 

College Forward made a bold move at the opening of the 84th Texas legislative session, introducing policymakers to the people most affected by higher education legislation: Texas students.

College Forward students and graduates descended on the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, January 28th to meet with representatives from their home districts and share their stories of persevering through higher education. The event was part of CoFo’s “College Matters: Students Speak Up” campaign.

Education reform and higher education policy have been at the top of Texas’ legislative agenda for years. What discussions have too often lacked, however, are the voices of those whose lives are directly impacted by policy decisions. It’s time for a paradigm shift in the education debate. Policy must be informed by the voices and stories of those most knowledgeable about and most passionate about Texas higher education.

College Forward students and alumni have defied the odds. Only 8% of low-income students ever graduate from college in Texas. By contrast, College Forward students, who receive critical mentoring support, are five times more likely to earn a postsecondary credential. The benefits of higher education for low-income students and for the economic future of the state are indisputable. Mentoring makes the difference.

Stay tuned for College Forward updates as the Legislative Session continues!

For more information, contact Lindsey Wolf, CoFo Community Engagement Coordinator, at lwolf@collegeforward.org.

College Forward Celebrates MLK Day of Service

College Forward celebrates MLK Day by supporting local organizations throughout the long weekend. College Forward’s AmeriCorps members will lend support at organizations like Austin Parks Foundation, United Way, Boys and Girls and Club, Urban Roots, YMCA, and more!

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College Forward | 01.18.15

College Forward Celebrates MLK Day of Service

The upcoming commemoration of the MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 19 is an opportunity to remember that history and re-commit ourselves as citizens by volunteering in service to one another. It is also a time to consider how much work still remains to fulfill Dr. King’s dream. President Obama’s ‘United We Serve’ campaign commemorates MLK Day as a National Day of Service.

College Forward will celebrate MLK Day by supporting local organizations throughout the long weekend. College Forward’s AmeriCorps team members will lend support at local organizations like Austin Parks Foundation, United Way, Boys and Girls and Club, Urban Roots, YMCA, and more!

Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Against what seemed like impossible odds, Dr. King and scores of his fellow citizens of all races came together and, ultimately, helped bend the moral arc of the universe toward justice.

This weekend, College Forward is proud to remember, celebrate, and serve. Service is a powerful tool for strengthening our communities, but it is only a start. As we work together, we will create economic opportunities by improving education, strengthening health care services, and improving financial literacy. These are central to making our economy work for every American.

Be sure to connect with College Forward on social media for photos and MLK service stories!

CoFo Awarded $500,000 from Greater Texas Foundation

College Forward is thrilled to announce a $500,000 grant award from Greater Texas Foundation to build replicable models of our highly successful college access and college completion programs.

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College Forward | 12.15.14

CoFo Awarded $500,000 from Greater Texas Foundation

College Forward is thrilled to announce a $500,000 grant award from Greater Texas Foundation to build replicable models of their highly successful college access and college completion programs. Rural and underserved school districts, postsecondary institutions, and community based organizations across Texas will use these tools to motivate more of their students to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

Only 19% of Texas eighth graders go on to complete higher education, even after 150% of the standard length of time for a degree or credential. Drawing from College Forward’s deep expertise, these models will describe precisely how to motivate students through the critical challenges they face on the path to postsecondary preparation, acceptance, and success. Models will be supported and enhanced by a sophisticated technology platform that predictively alerts program administrators to students who are in danger of falling behind. This initiative will produce a measurable impact on statewide student outcomes as soon as 2017.

“College Forward is committed to ending inequality in higher education outcomes. This project will take a powerful step towards that goal by making our proven methodology available to every Texas student. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the partnership and guidance of Greater Texas Foundation,” says College Forward CEO Lisa Fielder.

For the past 12 years, College Forward has taken an experimental, student-focused approach to addressing persistent problems in student achievement, garnering national acclaim for program outcomes: College Forward students enter higher education at twice the statewide average and earn degrees at more than five-times the rate of their economically disadvantaged peers. This December, College Forward joined hundreds of college presidents and other education leaders from around the country to make collective commitments to solve our nation’s education shortfalls at the White House College Opportunity Day of Action.

Headquartered in Bryan, Texas, Greater Texas Foundation serves the citizens and educational institutions of Texas by supporting initiatives that increase rates of post-secondary enrollment and completion for all Texas students, with a particular focus on students who may encounter barriers to postsecondary success. In addition to grantmaking, Greater Texas Foundation provides strategic scholarships, promotes research, and convenes thought leaders to support efforts to ensure that all Texas students are prepared for, have access to, persist in, and complete postsecondary education.

College Forward’s Update from The White House

At the College Opportunity Day of Action, President Obama remarked that “we have to work together to make sure that everybody has a chance for success.” We at College Forward couldn’t agree more. Read more to find out what CoFo is committing to in 2015!

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College Forward | 12.08.14

College Forward’s Update from The White House

Let’s Move Forward

It was a privilege to represent College Forward at last week’s College Opportunity Day of Action at the White House. I joined President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and hundreds of college presidents and other education leaders from around the country to make collective commitments to solve our nation’s education shortfalls. College Forward has worked for the past twelve years to expand college opportunity. We are thrilled to have so many dedicated partners pledging their support.

President Obama remarked that “we have to work together to make sure that everybody has a chance for success.” We at College Forward couldn’t agree more. Today I am pleased to announce two commitments that embrace this great collaborative push to solve the challenges of college access and completion:

1. College Forward will share our successful program models with high schools, community colleges, baccalaureate-granting institutions, community-based organizations, and collective impact coalitions; and

2. College Forward will share CoPilot, our powerful technology tool, to amplify our partners’ ability to effectively promote student success.

By building and nurturing strong cross-sector partnerships, we will produce significant gains, reaching more than 20,000 students by 2018.

The President also announced a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college. This is a key step toward the creation of a College Success Corps, a dedicated arm of AmeriCorps devoted to college success. A proud AmeriCorps program since 2006, College Forward enthusiastically supports this announcement.

Learn more about our visit to the White House.

Thank you for your continued support of College Forward and our efforts.

Sincerely,

lisas-signature

Lisa Fielder, CEO & Co-Founder

College Forward Goes to The White House!

Today, College Forward CEO Lisa Fielder joins President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college. 

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College Forward | 12.04.14

College Forward Goes to The White House!

college-forward-invited-to-white-house-summit

Today, College Forward CEO Lisa Fielder joins President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

College Forward has committed to build and share innovative program models that deliver targeted support the critical challenges students face on the path to postsecondary preparation, acceptance, and completion. College Forward is a recognized leader for producing outstanding student outcomes, including a college acceptance rate twice that of similarly disadvantaged Texas students and a college completion rate six times the state average. The organization also has significant experience convening collective impact collaboratives and delivering highly­ popular student services at high schools and colleges.

“College Forward is thrilled to be a part of this important national conversation and to demonstrate our commitment at the White House. We’re excited to bring our considerable expertise in both college access and college completion to this summit,” says Mrs. Fielder.

Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K­16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-­income students’ access to college. Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-­income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

TG Video Highlights CoFo’s Innovative Approach

Special thanks to long-time supporters TG for their work on this video featuring College Forward staff, students, and AmeriCorps members. Watch this star-studded cast talk about Cofo and its lasting impact. Thank you, TG!

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College Forward | 11.17.14

TG Video Highlights CoFo’s Innovative Approach

Special thanks to long-time supporters TG for their work on this video featuring College Forward staff, students, and AmeriCorps members. Watch this star-studded cast talk about Cofo and its lasting impact. Thank you, TG!

College Forward Coaches Recognized on Mayor’s Day

College Forward coaches were among AmeriCorps members recognized by city leadership officials in Austin, Houston, Kyle and Baytown on April 2 as part of the Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service. Mayors Lee Leffingwell, Annise Parker, Lucy Johnson and Stephen DonCarlos issued proclamations recognizing the positive impact of national service, and honoring those who…

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College Forward | 04.03.14

College Forward Coaches Recognized on Mayor’s Day

College Forward coaches were among AmeriCorps members recognized by city leadership officials in Austin, Houston, Kyle and Baytown on April 2 as part of the Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service. Mayors Lee Leffingwell, Annise Parker, Lucy Johnson and Stephen DonCarlos issued proclamations recognizing the positive impact of national service, and honoring those who give back. College Access Coach and College Forward graduate Diana Gomez spoke about her experiences working with students during the Austin ceremony, and emphasized the “circle of service” she has experienced through College Forward.

ATXMayorsDay Kyle_MayorsDay HTX_Annise

 

College Forward Launches New Website!

In anticipation of College Forward’s 10th anniversary, College Forward launched its new website to celebrate the past 10 years of its successes and build excitement for all the great things yet to come! Many thanks to the GKW co. for the beautiful makeover of our website!

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College Forward | 09.21.13

College Forward Launches New Website!

In anticipation of College Forward’s 10th anniversary, College Forward launched its new website to celebrate the past 10 years of its successes and build excitement for all the great things yet to come!

Many thanks to the GKW co. for the beautiful makeover of our website!