Reach for College! was founded in 2005 by two urban educators who saw how to help disadvantaged students overcome the obstacles to higher education. In the District, only 64% of students graduate high school, and nearly a quarter of these never attend college or trade school, leaving many kids unprepared for a world in which over 80% of jobs require post-secondary education. So every day, as part of their academic schedule, 1,000 students in more than 20 classes in DC use RFC’s curriculum to boost their skills in college-level reading, writing, and time management. Classes in SAT prep, college selection, and financial aid help them navigate the application maze. Personalized attention makes all the difference: RFC-trained teachers encourage the less confident students, cajole the procrastinators, and celebrate with all the students when the acceptance letters roll in. And they do: 100% of RFC students receive college acceptances and 80% enroll in college right after graduation. It costs RFC $280 to get a student into college. You can play a role in the next acceptance.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Prince George's County

Age Groups Served: Teenagers; Grade 9-12

Ethnic Groups Served: African American, 98%; Latino/Hispanic, 2%

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income; Students

Schools They Work In: Ballou; Cardozo; Eastern; Cesar Chavez Public Charter (Capitol Hill); Cesar Chavez Public Charter (Parkside; Hospitality Public Charter; SEED DC Public Charter; Thurgood Marshall Public Charter; Washington, Math, Science and Tech Charter

Combined Federal Campaign Number: 32839

United Way Agency Number: 9340

Awards & Recognition

June 2011 Semi-Finalist for Social Impact Exchange Business Plan Competition

February 2010 Innovation Award from the College Board


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Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Reach for College! is: Less than $500k