College Success Foundation Programs
Direct Student Services: CSF Achievers Scholars Program is on-site in 14 high schools (3 in DC) providing intensive college preparation supports to selected 11th and 12th graders. CSF Advisors help them finish high school without needing further academic remediation; find “best fit” postsecondary options for their career aspirations; write a compelling essay; complete financial aid/enrollment applications; and prepare for the college transition. Achievers also work 1:1 with a volunteer mentor who provides support and inspiration.
Scholarships: CSF offers a variety of public and private opportunities for low-income students. CSF administers the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, a public/private partnership between the state and major corporations (including Boeing and Microsoft), as well as general and targeted scholarships to alumni of foster care, and undocumented or first-generation students.
Systemic Education Reform: Washington College Access Network (WCAN) is a statewide effort to build an academic success and college-going culture in local communities. WCAN uses a collaborative, collective impact strategy with 15 regional networks serving 90 school districts. Network members are parents, K-12 and college staff, community and business leaders, elected officials and other youth advocates. WCAN partners with these stakeholders to provide technical assistance, host an annual conference, and maintain a free, online library of college-readiness resources.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
CSF’s work creates compelling individual stories of success every day from the students who benefit from the services, supports and scholarships. The impact of CSF’s work is nothing less than disrupting intergenerational cycles of poverty through education. Many CSF students are the first in their families to attend and complete college. A college degree is a lifelong game-changer, especially for a young person growing up in poverty. Completion of a postsecondary degree or professional credential dramatically increases the likelihood of successful adult outcomes: higher incomes and increased cumulative earnings (along with higher tax revenue); added job satisfaction; better individual and family health; more community and civic engagement; and siblings or children who also aspire to attend college.
Most of CSF’s revenue is in the form of grants, contracts and legislative allocations that support specific program expenses. Programs, however, naturally demand effective and efficient infrastructure to achieve student outcomes. The Foundation needs unrestricted operating funds, with the flexibility to build its human capital and technological capacity, and to meet emerging administrative needs. CSF is increasing its focus on building a diverse donor base, engaging new donors and improving visibility in the community through traditional and social media marketing.