CollegePoint: Free, personalized college advising
CollegePoint is a new initiative that matches up low and moderate-income students with online college counselors. In a country with an average student-to-counselor ratio of 424:1, students often need more help than their school provides. CollegePoint can be an invaluable resource to fill this gap. Our review of CollegePoint offers a rundown of the resources the organization provides, as well as a walkthrough of the application process.
What is CollegePoint?
CollegePoint is an initiative offered through Bloomberg Philanthropies that offers college counseling to low and moderate-income students. They partner with college access organizations like College Possible and Matriculate to match students with free online counseling. Counselors are typically current college students or recent graduates.
Counseling all takes place online and is entirely free. Counselors utilize Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or a host of other online communication platforms. They coach students through every stage of the college application process. This includes:
- Providing knowledge about what colleges suit the student’s interests and making a college list
- Writing essays and personal statements
- Navigating the financial aid process, including the FAFSA and CSS Profile
- Giving personal testimonies on the college experience
- Helping with other college logistics, including housing decisions
Even students who are far along in their application process, can utilize these resources to prepare for the transition into college. Speaking with someone who recently graduated can give you advice you didn’t even know you needed. It can also be reassuring just to speak with someone about their experience.
Who can sign up for CollegePoint?
To qualify for CollegePoint, students must satisfy economic and academic requirements. You must have a household income under $80,000 to qualify. If you’re unsure of your household income, there are a few easy ways to learn if you qualify. If you receive free lunch at school or are eligible for an SAT tuition waiver, you are financially eligible for CollegePoint.
There are two routes for academic eligibility for CollegePoint. Students qualify for the program if they meet either of these requirements:
- Hold an unweighted GPA of at least 3.5 and score in the 90th percentile on the ACT, SAT, or PSAT
- Hold an unweighted GPA of at least 3.7 and take at least 2 AP, IB, or college-level courses in the first three years of high school
How do you sign up for CollegePoint?
You can sign up for CollegePoint here. The application process is simple and quick. Don’t worry if you don’t have your transcript or your parents’ tax returns on hand. The application does not require documentation, so you’ll only need to enter your name and some basic information. If you qualify, CollegePoint will reach out to you in a few days. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes.
What are the alternatives if I don’t qualify?
If you don’t qualify for CollegePoint, there are many other resources out there to help with your college application process. Scholarships360 offers help with every step of the process, including building your college list, writing your essays, applying for scholarships, and much more.
Although it may be harder to get facetime, your high school counselor is also trained to help you through the process. Especially when it comes to building a college list and finding scholarships, counselors can offer valuable localized advice. If you have family friends who recently graduated college, you can also ask them for advice.
If you can afford it, you can also look into private college counseling resources. Even if you have a counselor at your high school, it can be good to get a second perspective, especially from a younger counselor. It’s also important to have a counselor who can offer you a lot of facetime.
If you qualify for CollegePoint, it should be a no-brainer to apply and match with a counselor. They can offer up-to-date advice, personal testimonies, and much more. Recent graduates have their finger on the pulse of the current college admissions system, and they will be an invaluable resource. And because it’s free and remote, there should be no barriers to participating in the program. Our advice is to sign up today!