College Advising Corps

At a Glance

National Office: 
301 W. Barbee Chapel Road, Suite 210
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Phone: 919.442.6300
People Served: 
848,000
Year Founded: 
2005
Tax ID: 
46-1192687

Focus area(s):

College Access
After-School & Out-of-School
Mentoring

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Description

The National College Advising Corps is an innovative program that works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education.  Through a nationwide consortium, recent graduates of partner colleges and universities are hired, trained and placed as full-time college advisers in underserved high schools in both urban and rural areas. 

The Advising Corps serves communities across the country to provide the guidance and encouragement that many students need to navigate the complex processes of college admissions and secure financial aid.  In addition, advisers work to raise the college-going rates within those schools, which is a profound indicator of whether students will take the steps necessary to actually apply and enroll in college.

Impact and Outcomes

Nationally, after just two years of adviser placements in a school, the average increase in college enrollment is 5.08 percentage points, an increase of 10.6% over baseline rates (based on a representative sample of national high schools for which we have National Student Clearinghouse data).
At the high schools in which CAC has served the longest, up to ten years, the average increase in college enrollment is 9.01 percentage points, an increase of 19.1% over baseline rates.
Students advised by CAC persist from their first to second year of college at higher rates (76%) than the national average (69% according to College Board).
Within a school, students meeting with a CAC adviser are more likely to apply and be accepted to college. Compared to seniors who have not met with an adviser, students who have met with the CAC adviser are: 30% more likely to apply to college, 23% more likely to be accepted to college, and 27% more likely to submit a FAFSA
In addition to the impact our work is having on underserved students, CAC is also having a transformative impact on its advisers’ career paths. Pre-service, 38% indicated interest in college access or college counseling as a career, compared to 72% following completion of service.
National highlights for our advisers over the course of the year include the following: held 505,764 one-on-one meetings with students; arranged 41,305 college campus visits and 96,145 college representative visits; helped 56,028 students register for the SAT or ACT; assisted 90,488 seniors in submitting 322,208 college applications; helped seniors acquire more than $1,124,407,307 in scholarship dollars ($290,595,512) and institutional aid ($833,811,795).

Matching Gift

1:1 match for Social Innovation Fund award from New Profit, Inc. A SIF grant awarded through New Profit’s Pathways Fund requires that the Advising Corps raise the match for a $1.5 million grant. The current year’s award is for the period of April, 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013

Mission & Goals

The nation is facing a crisis in access to education and opportunity.  Many students are not receiving the advice and support they need to identify and enroll in colleges where they will persist to degree.  Nearly 25% of low-income, first-generation college students who score in the top quartile on standardized tests never go to college.  Of the 75% who do attend college, many never attain a Bachelor’s degree. The goal of the National College Advising Corps is to partner with underserved high schools to increase the number of students who enter and complete higher education.  By hiring and training recent college graduates of their partner institutions of higher education and placing them in high-need high schools throughout the country, the Advising Corps provides the assistance and encouragement students need to navigate the complex processes of college admissions and financial aid and enroll in colleges that will serve them well.

Program

The National College Advising Corps is a consortium of 17 colleges/universities across the country.  The program model encompasses a targeted approach that integrates student supports into the school model to address non-academic barriers to student achievement.  What distinguishes the Advising Corps from other college access and success programs is the combination of five innovations that are the pillars of its approach:

The Advising Corps is a near-peer model.  The program recruits and trains recent college graduates as advisers whose backgrounds are similar to those of the students they serve.  More than 60% of the advisers are first-generation college students themselves.

The Advising Corps works in partnership with colleges and universities. These institutions share the Advising Corps’ commitment to increasing the numbers of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who succeed in postsecondary education, and they commit their own staff and resources to support the work of the Advising Corps throughout their states.

The Advising Corps provides full-time college advisers.  Advisers work in high schools full-time to partner with counselors, teachers and administrators and function as additional staff members within the schools they serve.  Their focus is singularly on building the school’s college-going culture and ensuring that students apply and enroll in colleges where they will succeed.

The Advising Corps focuses on best fit.  Advising Corps advisers focus on helping students identify and apply to post-secondary institutions that will serve them well both academically and socially, thus increasing the likelihood that they will persist to degree.

The Advising Corps advisers provide an open-door, whole school approach to advising.  Advisers work to foster both a school-wide college-going culture as well as to provide targeted assistance to low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who are capable and qualified to attend college, but who are at the greatest risk of not attending.

Impact

Since its inception in 2004, the National College Advising Corps has served nearly 189,000 students, and in school year 2011-12, 321 advisers in 17 programs across 14 states served more than 110,000 students at 368 high schools across the country.

The work of the Advising Corps focuses on the measurable outcome of college enrollment, and both direct outcomes and research-validated inputs are being tracked.  In 2009, Dr. Eric Bettinger and Dr. Anthony Antonio, both of Stanford University, began a comprehensive programmatic evaluation of the Advising Corps.  The key outcomes involve students’ matriculation and completion of college.  The evaluation tracks students’ initial enrollment in college, the sector (two-year/four-year) of enrollment, students’ persistence through the first year of college, and students’ transfer rates from two- to four-year colleges.  In addition to measuring college enrollment, intermediate outcomes such as course selection, grades, completing applications and financial aid forms, and test scores indicate whether advisers are assisting students with completion of academic and non-academic milestones that ultimately lead to success in increasing college enrollment.

Sample Evaluation Findings:

  • In the sample of high schools studied, average college attendance from 2006-2009 was 68%.
  • Prior to working with an Advising Corps adviser, college attendance at partner high schools was about 5 percentage points lower than comparison schools.
  • At the end of 2009, college attendance rates were on par with comparison schools.
  • Sample Advising Corps schools outperformed comparison schools.  In one school district, there was a 14 percentage point increase in college-going.

 

When looking at the pattern of attendance across different types of colleges, students who graduated from high schools served by the Advising Corps were about seven percentage points more likely to attend four-year colleges immediately after high school than students at non-Advising Corps schools. At the same time, students who graduated from high schools served by the Advising Corps were about 6 percentage points less likely to attend two-year colleges immediately after high school than students in schools not served by the Advising Corps.

Growth Plan

Economic Model

The National College Advising Corps has raised substantial private funds and secured significant public support for its program. Since its national expansion in 2007, the Advising Corps has developed and is now executing a plan to achieve long-term sustainability. The plan takes full advantage of the collaboration between the Advising Corps and its university and high school partnerships, and is designed to build a diverse base of local, regional and national support, both private and public. Through commitments of the presidents, chancellors, and provosts of partner universities and colleges, the Advising Corps program benefits from each partner’s considerable development infrastructure, including the major gifts officers, annual fund programs, and government relations staff at each institution. In addition, the Advising Corps' direct service to individual high schools gives both its partner institutions’ programs and the national office important access to a wide variety of often untapped local funding. The national office’s development efforts are carefully coordinated with partner institutions so as to maximize fund raising efforts. 

With the help of the Bridgespan Group, the Advising Corps developed a five-year funding plan that calls on partner universities to contribute 60% of their annual operational costs, with the national office providing the remaining 40%, in addition to all national office operational costs. The Advising Corps seeks one-time and recurring federal and state government funds and ongoing private support from corporations, foundations and individuals according to an aggressive fundraising plan to reach revenue goals.  

Growth Plan

The Advising Corps is committed to serving first-generation college students in low-income and underrepresented high schools, and currently works with this population in rural and urban communities nationwide.  In 2010, the Advising Corps expanded to add programs in Texas and Michigan, two of its identified key expansion states.  Plans are in place to grow the network of program partners in current and new states while sustaining quality and the essence of the near-peer model.   In Fall 2011, The Advising Corps will begin serving students in New York City with New York University established as the host partner institution. Additional expansion sites are slated for Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA.  In 2011-12, The Advising Corps will complete the process of securing a partner institution in Southern California to reach underserved students in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities.   The Advising Corps commitment is to continue to reach additional students in its current markets as well as expand to markets with great need.

This year, the Advising Corps has 321 advisers in 368 high schools across the country serving 65,000 students.   Over the next five years, The Advising Corps has the potential to serve over 500,000 students.  These projections translate into almost 80,000 additional students enrolled in college as a result of our efforts.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
301 W. Barbee Chapel Road, Suite 210
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Phone: 919.442.6300
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
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Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,534,976
Foundation Grants: 
$8,964,200
Government Funding: 
$8,113,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$575,616
Total Revenue: 
$19,187,792

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$0
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communications: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$19,187,792
Other Expenses (Description): 

The Advising Corps partners with colleges and universities nationwide and therefore shares costs such as office supplies, rent, telephone, etc. A recent review of our budget finds that approximately: 80% goes to salaries -- which includes salaries for the 175 advisers we have placed in high schools 15% goes to program development and site supervision The remaining 10% goes toward operating expenses which include: rent, telephone and communications, office supplies, postage, etc., which is shared with all our partner institutions and often provided in-kind by the universities.

Total Expenses: 
$19,187,792

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$0

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,380,639
Foundation Grants: 
$8,283,833
Government Funding: 
$7,075,773
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$517,740
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$17,257,985

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$0
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communication: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$17,257,985
Other Expenses (Description): 

The Advising Corps partners with colleges and universities nationwide and therefore shares operating costs such as: office supplies, rent, telephone, etc. A recent review of our budget finds that approximately: 80% goes to salaries -- which includes salaries for the 175 advisers we have placed in high schools 15% goes to program development and site supervision The remaining 5% goes toward operating expenses which include: rent, telephone and communications, office supplies, postage, etc., which is shared with all our partner institutions and often provided in-kind by the universities.

Total Expenses: 
$17,257,985

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$0

Major Funders

National Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Kresge Foundation

Lumina Foundation for Education

Bank of America

New Profit Inc./Pathways Fund – Social Innovation Fund

Local Support of Partner Institutions 2009-10:

Fisher Fund – University of California at Berkeley

Illinois Student Assistance Commission – University of Illinois

Texas Guaranteed

University of Missouri

University of Utah

Franklin & Marshall College (PA)

Golden Leaf Foundation

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Watson Brown Foundation

University of Georgia