College Possible

What are scholarships good for?

What are scholarships good for?

Early this October, as I was sitting in on a meeting of College Possible coaches, the program coordinator specializing in scholarships brought up this amazing stat: When their students got some sort of scholarship, 93% graduated college within six years. When there was no scholarship, only 45% graduated in six years. This is based on College Possible Minnesota's 2008 cohort, meaning their participating students who graduated high school in 2008 and have been tracked since then. So even with all the coaching and support that all College Possible students receive, getting a scholarship more than doubles their odds of graduating. This doesn't just mean "full ride" scholarships that pay for all of college, but any type of scholarship that helps make college cheaper. 

Statistics rarely have stories or explanations, so it's up to us to brainstorm some reasons why getting even a small scholarship can increase your success so dramatically.

Getting the support you need in college

Getting the support you need in college

More and more high school programs are focused on getting students through college, not just to college. About 10 years ago, some of the major charter school networks made college graduation a goal.  Posse has been around since the late 1980s. College Possible has been doing their thing since 2000. What wisdom can you gain from these success-through-college programs even if you're not a part of them?

Thinking about your special circumstances

Thinking about your special circumstances

Let's be clear here: the point isn't to write a "sob story" that makes people feel sorry for you and want to give you special treatment for your special circumstances. This isn't about victimhood, quite the opposite. The point is to acknowledge to yourself and be able to explain to others the challenges and frictions that make you who you are. It's about celebrating how far you've come and the skills you've acquired. When colleges ask about your special circumstances, and not all of them ask, it's not about feeling sorry. It's about understanding what kind of resilience you have and how you got it. Nobody makes it out of high school and into college without friction and resilience, so it's okay to think about your own. There are plenty of ways to think about your special challenges.