The old saying “knowledge is power” is never more true than in the game of college planning. SAT scores, GPA’s, and school activities play a major role in opening the gates of college, but they matter little if a student doesn’t know the incredible places that their abilities can take them. Access to powerful knowledge – be it the scores of free SAT prep resources, teachers who stand ready to point in the right direction, or financial aid and scholarship programs – continues to be a gating issue for lower income and inner city students in much of the U.S.
Today I stumbled upon this inspiring story of Don â€œD.W.â€ Cartier who founded the Ivy Program, a college counseling service for minority high school students in the Washington, D.C., area that offers mentoring for several dozen students on everything from how to write the perfect college application essay to basic homework and learning strategies. Cartier states:
I went to public school and my public school never encouraged me to think about big schools. My counselor told me the best place I could probably get into was Arizona State. I thought I could do better. I applied to about 17 schools and got in 15 and I chose Georgetown in the end.
If I had had a person who had encouraged me, kind of told me what to do and helped me with different stuff like getting my SAT as high as it could, I think I would have had a less stressful college experience. Luckily, I did have a lot of resources and connections who were able to explain things to me so I wasn’t in the dark.