Moving America Forward

Low-Income Students Can Aim High. This Group Can Help

January 17, 2014
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Low-Income Students Can Aim High. This Group Can Help
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Instead of under-matching, students in this program find the right college for them.

Nobody in Jennifer Alquicira’s immediate family had ever attended university, and they had no money to spare. So even though the Omaha woman was an accomplished student, she was resigned to going to community college.  But the intervention of College Possible helped Alquicira find an educational institution that matched her abilities and helped her figure out how to pay for it. With offices in the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Omaha, Neb. and Portland, Oreg., the Minnesota-based non-profit’s mission is to target talented low-income students to help them avoid “under-matching”—seeking higher education institutions that don’t measure up to their ability.  College Possible contacted Alquicira when she was a sophomore in high school with an offer to help her prepare for tests, research colleges and complete her applications. Students can also visit the group’s offices, where AmeriCorps volunteers coach them for two hours, twice a week, on everything they need to know about preparing for college. With the help she received from College Possible, Alquicira is now a freshman at the University of Nebraska, and most of her costs are covered by scholarships and Pell Grants. “I felt like I could do this,” she told Kate Howard Perry of the Omaha World Herald. “I wanted to show how proud my family is of me and what I can do for them later in life.” 

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