Area served United States
|Type 501(c)(3) charitable organization|
Focus Expanding college access in under-served communities
Key people Michael Carter, Founder and CEO
Strive for College is an American nonprofit dedicated to "alleviating inequity in access to higher education". It is headquartered in Milpitas and has mentors from more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide.
Michael Carter started Strive for College in 2007 while a student at Washington University in St. Louis, mentoring students at nearby Eskridge High School. Strive for College expanded following a seed grant in 2009 and grew to become a nationwide organization. It piloted the nation’s first virtual college guidance curriculum in 2013 with the JA & Kathryn Albertson Foundation and launched a national scaling effort with partners including Bloomberg Philanthropies and College Board the following year.
Strive for College's growth was sustained with the help of influential sponsors: philanthropist Connie Lurie, former SJSU President Don Kassing, and education innovator Tom Vander Ark. Strive for College works in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, JA & Kathryn Albertson Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, College Board, National College Advising Corps, Deutsche Bank, Fossil Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Think Finance.
Strive for College’s undergraduate mentors work with qualified students weekly for up to three semesters preceding high school graduation. The mentoring program is based on a series of sessions outlined in the organization’s curriculum, which focuses on college admission and financial aid. The curriculum also includes teambuilding activities and mentorship best practices.
According to Strive for College’s profile for CNN Heroes, “40% of Strive students attend four-year colleges without having to come out of pocket for their tuition -- compared with 32% of low-income college students nationwide.”