College Forward provides college access and college persistence services to motivated, economically disadvantaged students, in order to facilitate their transition to college and make the process exciting and rewarding. We believe access to higher education is the right of every young Texan.
We accomplish this by providing:
- Orientation to the college experience
- Preparation for college entrance examinations
- Assistance with college applications
- Assistance securing financial aid
- College persistence support
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In 2002, Doreen Wise and her close friend Lisa Fielder recognized the desperate need to expand college access for economically-disadvantaged high school students in Central Texas. Admission Control was launched on September 1, 2003, and shortly thereafter established its pilot program at two high schools in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. Since then the organization has developed an effective curriculum and supplementary programs that have enabled students to enroll in colleges and universities throughout Texas and across the country. Now a thriving partnership known as College Forward, the program continues to reach a growing number of students and families in the greater Austin area.
Did you know that only 15.9% of economically-disadvantaged Texans have a chance to attend college every year? Despite interventions such as the "Closing the Gaps by 2015" Texas Higher Education Plan, Texas has missed its college participation goals every year — and must enroll an additional 630,000 students in college by 2015. Texas has fallen to 48th among states in high school completion rates and 38th in four-year college graduation rates.
College Forward directly addresses the current crisis in higher education access by offering cost-effective programming free of charge to deserving participants. In 2007, 100% of College Forward students graduated from high school and were accepted to college.
What makes College Forward?
College Forward would not exist without the cooperation of school districts, state agencies, and other community based organizations. We draw upon the experience of Texas colleges and universities for admission and retention strategies and recruit their students to serve as “college coaches” for our after-school classes.
College Forward estimates the cost per student to be approximately $1491 per-year, while programs offering similar services can cost up to four times as much.
College Forward sets high standards, and our students consistently meet or surpass them. Our participants are five times more likely to enroll in four-year colleges than their peers. To date:
- High School:
- In 2012, 99% of College Forward students graduated from high school and were accepted to college.
- 97% of high school seniors have filled out the FASFA.
- 67% of our students enroll in four-year institutions within their first year out of high school.
- 85% of our students, who have enrolled in college, have persisted in college.