The work of College AppAssist can be broadly summarized by pairing successful volunteer college students at local universities with motivated at-risk high school students in low and moderate income areas. In addition to the focus of a personal mentor overseeing their junior and senior year semesters of high school, mentees are granted direct financial support from CAA in the amount of $250 for application fees, testing fees, housing deposits, administrative college fees and other applicable expenses incurred in connection with pursuing a secondary education.
As a peer-to-peer mentorship program, College AppAssist uniquely partners subject matter experts (students recently completing the college application process and embattling the transition to a university) with those most in need. Mentorship pairs are expected to meet on-site of the mentee’s school on a weekly basis and commonly build long-termpartnerships given the relative age of the individuals involved in the relationship (i.e. mentor always being 2-4 years ahead of the mentee in age).
Although College AppAssist will not reject interested high school students from enrolling in the program, CAA specifically targets students fitting any of the following criterion: (i) enrollment in the federal free or reduced lunch program (ii) truancy/lack of academic interest (iii) below-average self-esteem (iv) emotional / behavioral issues or (iv) lack of familial support. The organization has also commonly worked with high schools scoring in the lowest percentiles within their district, providing much needed additional support at no cost to the school.