College Possible is making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Our services include:
Coaches, serving as AmeriCorps members, guide high school students through all of the key aspects of preparing for college during after-school sessions for two hours twice a week. Over the course of their junior and senior years, students complete 320 hours of curriculum in a supportive group of college-bound peers.
The junior year curriculum orients students to the college application process, provides extensive preparation for the ACT/SAT exam, introduces students to college life through campus tours and allows time for students to apply for summer enrichment opportunities.
The senior year curriculum leads students through the college application process, assists students in applying for financial aid and scholarships, and guides students through the transition to college.The college program is dedicated to helping College Possible high school graduates with their transition to college and completion of a college degree. College coaches help students find and connect with existing resources available on their campuses. Coaches also guide students in overcoming common obstacles to remaining enrolled such as renewing the FAFSA, balancing homework and social obligations and transferring schools using the college curriculum.
Originally form Nigeria, Samuel moved to Minnesota when he was 10. "My parents wanted me and my brother and sister to get an education from the United States," he said. "They said if you get a degree here, you can go anywhere in the whole world."
When he arrived, Sam's elementary school classmates had a hard time understanding his English, so he decided to listen instead of speak. He avidly watched children's programming like Arthur and Teletubbies and practiced English on his own. At the end of the school year, he spoke again. "I made three friends the last month of school," Sam said. "I learned just by listening."
In high school, Sam's friends encouraged him to join College Possible with them. "I'm glad I joined College Possible because it pushed me to apply for more scholarships and taught me more about college," he said.
In college Possible after-school sessions, he worked on applying for the Gates Millennium Scholarship, an award that covers all expenses for an undergraduate degree at the college or university of the recipient's choice, and even the cost of a doctorate degree in some fields of study. College Possible coach Ryan Rasmussen helped Sam set goals to complete sections of the 22-page application one at a time, including each of the eight essay questions.
In April, a large envelope arrived at Sam's house. When he opened the letter, Sam was overwhelmed. "It said, 'Congratulations, Samuel,'" he recalls. "I said, 'wow' for at least 30 minutes. Just 'wow' over and over. I showed my mom, and she was jumping up and down. It felt good." He was one of just 20 Minnesota high school seniors to receive the Gates Millennium Scholarship this year.
Sam attends North Dakota State University and intends to major in mechanical or electrical engineering. He wants to be a robotics engineer and plans to take advantage of the Gates Scholarship to go on to graduate school "I was just counting the days until college."