Mentoring: Promoting College Access and Success

College access involves encouraging and creating a pathway for K-12 students to consider, plan for, and attend post-secondary institutions; including four-year colleges or universities, junior or community colleges, or vocational, business, or technical schools, after high school. Carefully structured and supported mentoring provides young people with developmental resources needed for success.  Combined with age appropriate, appealing college access activities and consistent encouragement, mentoring relationships help youth succeed both personally and academically, and set them on a needed pathway for education past high school graduation. 

Research shows young people with mentors report setting higher academic expectations and achieving higher levels of education than those without mentors (Bruce, 2014).   Mentors can provide their mentees with motivation and information on resources, course-taking, test-taking, college applications, and financial aid. 

On this page you will find resources for your program, resources and activities for matches, and useful links to assist with the college planning process.  Feel free to explore and share these resources and website links with your program staff, mentors, and mentees to support youth and promote college access for the youth you serve.  You may also direct interested mentors to the  Mentors: Promoting College Access  page on our website. 


Resources for Mentoring Programs: 

A Guide for Establishing Mentoring Programs to Prepare Youth for College. (From the U.S. Department of Education).

Paving the Way to Postsecondary Education: K-12 Intervention Programs for Underrepresented Youth  
Mentoring is noted as an effective practice for increasing enrollment in higher education among underrepresented youth.


Resources for Mentors: 


Realizing the College Dream - Advisor Guide 
(From ECMC Foundation) - a curriculum guide used to increase the expectations of attending college by low-income, first-generation college-going students and their families.


Activities and Workbooks 

KnowHow2Go Mentor Workbook  
Tips and tools to educate yourself and your mentee about the college preparation process…and have fun while doing it.

Get Ready for College  
A College Planning Guide and Workbook for Students in Grades 9 through 12.


College Planning Websites 

The KnowHow2GO campaign encourages low-income students and their families to take the necessary steps toward college.  The website features information, advice, and resources for students and mentors to prepare for college. 

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)  
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by virtually all two- and four-year colleges, universities and career schools for the awarding of federal student aid and most state and college aid. The Michigan annual deadline is March 1.  

Student Aid on the Web   
Source for free information from the U.S. Department of Education on preparing for and funding education beyond high school.

The College Board   
Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and services in college readiness, college admission, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning.  

·  Features a College Matchmaker Service , which searches a database of over 3,800 schools by location, majors, cost, and more to find colleges that fit. 

Mapping your Future  
Mapping Your Future is a national collaborative, public-service, nonprofit organization providing career, college, financial aid, and financial literacy services for students, families, and schools. 


Other Useful Websites 

National Directory of College Access Program  
This national directory of college access programs is a free online resource for students, parents, counselors, and researchers and those operating college access programs. To find a program in the directory or add/update program data, follow the links below.