uAspire (formerly known as ACCESS) traces its beginnings back to Boston in 1985, when a group of business and community leaders invested in Boston’s high school students by creating a program to address the high school dropout rate. Today, we are a leader in college affordability, empowering college-going youth in our city.
uAspire serves more than 5,000 high school students every year in all Boston public and charter high schools. Last year, we leveraged more than $66 million in financial aid for college-going students in Boston. We also work with students before their senior year, helping them start to think about college and how they can make it affordable. And once students get to college, uAspire offers continuing support through FAFSA completion and other services. With uAspire, students can succeed in college – and have a plan to afford it.
In Boston, a city where more than 40% of adults hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, a college education is essential in order to earn a livable wage and the opportunity to choose a satisfying career. While Boston has a greater 4-year high school graduation rate – 64% – than many other comparable cities, a high school diploma is often insufficient. By 2018, 68% of jobs in Massachusetts will require some postsecondary education. Yet the financial barrier keeps otherwise promising young people not only from academic achievement, but from fully engaging in a 21st century workforce that needs educated talent.
uAspire helps students in Boston find an affordable path to higher education. We partner with every Boston public and charter high school and more than 20 leading nonprofit organizations in the city to work with college-ready students on how to pay for their education beyond high school. Through engaging workshops and one-on-one advising sessions with our expert college affordability Advisors, uAspire is empowering students in Boston to make a college education affordable.