Joining forces with colleges to close the degree divide

The opportunity gap

One-third of college goers today are low-income students, yet these students are graduating at rates significantly lower than their higher-income peers. Only 9 percent of low-income students will earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to 77 percent of students in the top income quartile.

Coupled with these statistics, many institutions are struggling to meet enrollment goals, due in large part to the stagnation in the number of high school graduates across the country. Institutions that aren’t able to improve retention and graduation rates for low-income students will find it increasingly difficult to fill their incoming class, pressuring already tight budgets as well as their institution’s viability for the next generation.

What if there was a way to boost retention rates for low-income students across your campus?

For 17 years, College Possible has refined its model of near-peer coaching using a research-based curriculum, and is now a national leader in college success programming. Our dedicated coaches guide and support students on their path to and through college, making College Possible students four times more likely to earn their degrees than their low-income peers. We have served more than 26,000 students at 350 campuses on their journey to graduation.


College Possible launched pilot partnerships with four institutions in January 2016. We are now serving more than 1,000 low-income students through Catalyze Partnerships with promising results:

  • Coaches connect with each student an average of 15 times per year, including five in-person coaching sessions.
  • 84 percent of students persisted from spring to fall 2016 and 90 percent persisted from fall 2016 to spring 2017.
  • 94 percent of students said they would recommend College Possible to other students.

Catalyze your team

Our Catalyze Partnership will allow you and your colleagues to tailor our proven approach to meet your institution’s unique needs. By partnering with College Possible, you can enhance your support services for low-income students and close the opportunity gap.

As a Catalyze partner, your institution will receive:

  • Training and support from College Possible as you hire and manage recent college graduates as coaches.
  • The option to utilize AmeriCorps members or graduate assistants as near-peer coaches.
  • Access to College Possible’s proprietary curriculum and coaching resources focused on retention and graduation of low-income students.
  • Dedicated liaisons committed to collaborating with you to create and launch a coaching program that builds your institution’s capacity and expertise.
  • Membership in a community of practice focused on eliminating the degree divide.


“I truly appreciate having partners like College Possible who can think outside the box to solve entrenched problems.”

–Katie Bishop, Chief Student Success Officer, Augsburg University

“I am the first in my family to attend college and graduate. That means a great deal to me and shows others in my family that it is possible. College Possible gave me the tools and skills to lead a successful life during and after college.”

–Jose Perez, Saint John’s University Class of 2017
2017-2018 College Possible Catalyze coach, Augsburg University

Learn more

To learn more about partnership opportunities, contact Carrie Carroll, Senior Partnerships Manager, at or 763-277-2453.

Want to share more information with colleagues? Download our one-pager PDF.



  • Meet Destiny

    “My College Possible coaches haven’t just helped me increase my ACT score and apply to colleges; they’ve made me feel confident in myself.”

    Read their story
  • Meet Jessica

    “Making it through college, a step that people think is impossible for students with backgrounds like mine, is the most amazing thing.”

    Read their story
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