College Bridge For All
What is College Bridge for All
Across the country, between 10 – 40% of students experience “summer melt”, a phenomenon where college-intending students do not enroll. This is rate is especially high among low-income, first-generation students. In New York City, 28% of students who apply to CUNY do not enroll at any college; in 2020, that is more than 15,000 seniors.
Launched in 2016 in collaboration with NYCDOE, College Bridge for All increases college enrollment by hiring and training college students to provide meaningful advising to graduating high school seniors through the college selection, financial aid, and matriculation processes. In 2020, we expanded to ensure that all students in the NYCDOE Class of 2020 have access to a near-peer College Coach to support them on their postsecondary journey. We are working to respond to the dual crises of declining college enrollment for first-year students and youth employment that New York City may face in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our traditional program, “College Coaches” work from April to August supporting a caseload of seniors at a high school. Coaches are often assigned to serve high schools from which they graduated. In our Borough-Based expansion model, College Coaches work from July through September to support a larger caseload of students across multiple schools.
Coaches are supervised over the summer by college counselors to support their work with students and their own professional development. Coaches earn $17 per hour, and up to $5,000 by the end of the summer.
The near-peer College Coach model is cost-effective, has demonstrated impact on college enrollment, and provides paid, professional work experience to college students. In 2017, students participating in College Bridge for All enrolled in college at a rate 11% higher than the NYCDOE average. This impact was driven by increased college enrollment among students identified as low income, Hispanic, and/or Spanish-speaking. The increase was greatest among students enrolling into CUNY community colleges, as these students are most at risk of “melting.”
We partner with other similar near-peer matriculation programs run by College Access: Research and Action (CARA), New Visions for Public Schools, the Urban Assembly, and Student Leadership Network to share best practices and provide mutual support. Collectively, we serve all graduating high school seniors across the NYCDOE.