St. Paul, Minn. (Feb. 3, 2012) — Nearly 600 low-income high school students fanned out across the Twin Cities Wednesday and Thursday in search of the perfect college.
The students are a part of Metro Visit Days, which offers College Possible (formerly Admission Possible) students a chance to tour one of four institutions without leaving the metro. Metro Visit Days are a key component for the 1,500 Twin Cities students participating in College Possible’s free after-school college success programming.
For many students, it will be the first time they set foot on a college campus.
High school juniors and seniors in College Possible visited the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Concordia University, St. Catherine University, and Augsburg College where they participated in campus tours and panel discussions with current students and College Possible alumni. These campus visits are an opportunity for students like Harding High School senior Kee Yang to envision themselves thriving in college.
“Going on campus visits is motivating because you get to see firsthand what life as a college student is like,” said Yang. “When I visited Concordia’s campus I felt excited because it was my first visit ever and I could picture myself as a student at Concordia.”
According to College Possible Program Director Bethany Krueger, colleges want to recruit a more diverse student body at a time when the overall number of college-age students is decreasing. Krueger also notes that colleges have difficulty in finding and reaching these students, many of whom are first generation college students. College Possible helps connect its students – 91 percent of whom are students of color – with colleges eager to recruit them.
“College Possible has been really successful in helping campuses identify diverse students through our program,” Krueger said. “They’re reaching the many students we serve who are the first in their families to attend college, and who have worked hard through our two-year high school program to be well prepared to succeed in college.”
With 80 percent of high school program graduates persisting towards their college degree or already having completed it, College Possible is helping students prepare for a competitive workforce that increasingly demands a college degree.
Metro Visit Days is part of roughly 30 campus visits College Possible will arrange this school year, partnering mostly with public and private colleges and universities in the Midwest. College Possible students also receive help with “fly-in” applications, where an institution covers transportation costs for an out-of-state student to attend a special visit.
College Possible, formerly Admission Possible, is making college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Launched in 2000, College Possible Twin Cities serves 7,600 low-income high school and college age students through its college access and completion programs.
Nationwide, College Possible’s innovative and award-winning model serves 8,700 Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin students in 2011-12 with plans to reach 20,000 students annually in 10 locations across the country as early as 2015. According to a recent Harvard study, the program doubles a student’s chances of enrolling in college.