Relative to their high-income background peers, low-income students are less likely to graduate high school or attend colleges and universities. Studies have shown that only 21% of low income, first-generation students in the U.S. graduate from college within six years. We are seeing a trend that many students in our community are not graduating from high school and those that do are not seeking post-secondary education. To address this issue, we are launching a yearly cohort program that will enroll high school seniors from King County. College Countdown, will prepare low-income/marginalized students for successful access and participation in post-secondary education. The program’s mission is to close the degree divide as we believe college access should not be determined by household income or family background.
The program will enroll students at the end of their junior year in high school. The program will run for 12 consecutive months and follow students as they graduate high school and enter post-secondary education. Students will take part in active mentoring, college campus visits, career exploration, leadership and financial literacy trainings and help with college applications. The aim of the program is to ensure that students are given the tools and preparedness necessary to help them navigate college access successfully.