Helping high-achieving lower-income students apply to top colleges and universities nationwide

The challenge

Each year, tens of thousands of hardworking, high-achieving students from lower-income families do not apply to the leading colleges and universities that they are qualified to attend. What prevents them from applying to top-performing colleges and universities? These students often lack:  

— Personalized guidance about which institutions are a good match given their level of academic achievement and interests 

— Accurate information about the real costs of attending leading institutions 

— Models of other students like themselves who have successfully made the transition to top-performing colleges and universities

The response

In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies and America Achieves launched CollegePoint, a coalition of nonprofit organizations and philanthropic institutions, with the goal of increasing the number of high-achieving, lower-income students enrolling in top-performing colleges from one-third of 75,000 students each year to more than half by 2020. This goal was reached a year early in 2019.

Through this coalition, CollegePoint partnered with best-in-class college access organizations to provide high-achieving, lower-income high school students with the individualized support they need to navigate the college application and financial aid process. Now, with a focus on empowering first-generation college students, high school students connect with their Matriculate advisors via text, email, phone and video chat, which allows them to schedule meetings at a time and in a way that fits their busy schedules and school responsibilities. Advisors support students in making a college list, revising college essays, navigating the financial aid process, finding and applying to scholarships, and making a college decision. The Matriculate advisors are able to seamlessly supplement the work of in-school counselors and other advising resources available to students.

CollegePoint has provided virtual advising to 67,000 talented students to date, giving them personalized information on their college options and the associated costs, and, ultimately, supporting them to apply to and enroll in top-performing colleges they would not have otherwise considered.

How it works

Identify eligible students

GPA ≥ 3.5

A score ≥ 90th percentile on the PSAT, SAT, or ACT

An earned family income ≤ $80,000 per year

Will be a first-generation college student (neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree)

– OR –

GPA ≥ 3.5

Taken or are currently enrolled in a rigorous course load (AP, IB or dual enrollment)

An earned family income ≤ $80,000 per year

Will be a first-generation college student (neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree)

Reach out to students

Through mission-aligned organizations such as ACT, the College Board, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Common App

Match students with advisor

Each student receives a virtual advisor from Matriculate who provides them with the support they need to navigate the college application process

Frequently asked questions

Definitely! Picking a college is just one step on the path to college. Once you’ve narrowed down your college list, your advisor can help you work on your application materials and talk you through the financial aid and scholarship process.

Yes, a CollegePoint advisor can be an additional resource for you!

To learn more about you and double check that you’re eligible for advising. But don’t worry, all of your information is private—we won’t sell it or share it with any other party.

Sure. To make changes to your submitted form, please email:

Nope, but your advisor can help you find scholarship programs.


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College Point Logo
Collegepoint partner Matriculate Logo