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A student supported by Strive for College stands in her graduation cap

Strive for College’s Virtual Mentoring Helps Students Reach Graduation

Project Overview

Through Strive for College, students in the United States with financial need can access free virtual mentoring to help them get into college, navigate financial aid, persist through graduation, and prepare for career opportunities.

In 2020, Strive launched a college persistence program to ensure students have the support to reach graduation and prepare for a rewarding career. Originally focused on college access, Strive’s scalable virtual model makes it possible to connect mentors with more than one million students from all 50 states. More than 95% of students matched with a mentor go on to attend college.

Strive has seen incredible demand for college success virtual mentoring during this critical time, and we are committed to helping more students succeed in college, get careers, and achieve their dreams.

Michael J. Carter, Founder, President, and CEO

How it Helps

Almost half of students from low-income backgrounds who begin college never earn their degree. But these students are more likely to succeed if they receive coaching or mentoring while in college. Strive mentors begin working with aspiring college students during the college application process, with support available all the way through college graduation. Students who are already in college can also be matched with a mentor for persistence support and career preparation.

Through UStrive, the program’s online platform, students are able to receive one-on-one coaching from a dedicated mentor, a volunteer from one of Strive’s corporate partners. Each student selects the mentor that will be right for them and their own goals, and they continue working with the same mentor all the way through college. Beyond the college persistence curriculum, students are able to build a relationship with someone who has experienced their own professional success, representing such companies as American Express, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, and UPS.

The program is grounded in a robust curriculum with information and resources on college-related topics, including financial management and identifying career goals. The guides are designed to be accessible and easy-to-navigate for both students and their mentors.

Reaching More Students with High-Quality Advising

Strive for College is available to support any student with financial need. There are no limitations based on where a student went to high school or which college they are attending, no GPA requirements or test scores. Personalized mentoring is available to any student seeking support to access and succeed in a college education.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of students are referred to Strive for mentoring through a partnership with the Common Application, and a new initiative by the College Board. The initiative encourages high school seniors and college students to sign up and take advantage of the program’s free resources and support. Through a college partnership program, Strive also hosts professional development to help college partners better attract, communicate with, and retain first-generation college students and those from low-income households.

Through these partnerships and other student engagement efforts, Strive aims to expand its virtual mentoring model to ensure these students are able to stay on track to a degree.

Foundation Project Lead