Low-income and first-generation students face long odds on the path to earning a college degree: their graduation rate is just 16% nationwide. CDI provides 270 first-generation high schoolers with the wraparound support they need – from 10th grade through college graduation. It provides comprehensive college advising, individualized test prep, support in identifying "best-fit" schools, negotiation of aid packages, and one-on-one assistance through college that includes wellness counseling. When students are ready to graduate, the Career Mentoring Initiative provides coaching, access to workforce opportunities, and connections to accomplished professionals in their chosen fields. Additionally, the School Support program provides coaching that improves college advising for 3,000 students in Maryland and DC. Each year 100% of CDI scholars are admitted to selective four-year schools with average grants and scholarships of $36,000 – and a 97% graduation rate.
Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; MD-Montgomery County
Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students
Schools They Work In: Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS); Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, MD; John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, MD; Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, MD; Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, MD; Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, MD; Wheaton High School in Silver Spring, MD; EL Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.; DC International School in Washington, D.C.
- CDI Scholars' college acceptance rate:
- Students served in the CDI College Scholars Program this year:
225, a 100% increase from five years ago
- Students served in the School Support Program:
- Average increase in ACT scores thanks to the College Scholars Program:
- Average of renewable grants and scholarships that CDI Scholars receive:
Awards & Recognition
100% of CDI's Scholars have been accepted to 4-year colleges or universities
CDI's Counselor, Ana Hilton (now Director of Programs), received the Marion Flagg Award from Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admissions Counseling in 2008
- Low-income students can get into selective colleges
Sun May 5 2013, The Washington Post
Everyone loses when academically prepared, low-income students don't even consider attending top colleges.
- Digital Divide Hits College-Admissions Process
Wed Dec 5 2012, Education Week
One of Collegiate Directions' scholars, Ana Gabriela Coello, said she would have been "lost" without guidance from
- Cracking the College Admissions Code
Fri Oct 26 2012, Washingtonian
With help from Marks Education tutors, Collegiate Directions scholars see their SAT scores improve by an average of 203 points.
- Free Coaching Available for low-income Students
Sun Sep 30 2012, Washington Examiner
The nonprofit helped Okeyo finance her education through merit scholarships...She graduated this year with a degree in nursing.
- Free Coaching Available for Low-Income Students
Thu Sep 27 2012, The Washington Examiner
Collegiate Directions, Inc. has been offering free college counseling and tutoring to low-income high school students since 2006.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Collegiate Directions is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
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