San Francisco Bay Area

Our Work

uAspire’s work is laser-focused on removing the financial barriers to both college access and success.

To achieve this, uAspire’s expertly trained College Affordability Advisors serve students in-person in high schools and virtually (via text-messaging), providing personalized guidance on navigating the complex process of affording college. As a result, students have the information and resources they need to make an informed choice about where to go to college and how to pay for it.

Over the summer after high school graduation, uAspire continues to support our students via virtual advising. We send a series of coordinated text messages that remind students of their college’s upcoming requirements and deadlines related to enrolling in college. Advisors also answer all students’ questions along the way. Check out the video below to learn more.

Need For Our Services

How to pay for college is one of the largest and most consequential financial decisions a person will ever make. The real and perceived costs of college are routinely noted as key barriers to college access and success—especially among students from low-income backgrounds or who will be in the first generation of their family to attend college.

uAspire’s services are crucial in helping young people pursue and complete an affordable college education. Working in partnership with school counselors who often lack the training and/or capacity to focus on affordability issues, uAspire fills a critical gap in college access and success programming. Read more…

Our Students

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Regardless of a student’s background, we strive to meet each student where they are in the college access process and provide the one-on-one support needed to achieve their dreams of a higher education.

In order to achieve the greatest impact, we partner with schools that predominantly serve students from low-income backgrounds. Of our Class of 2014 through 2017 advisees in San Francisco and the East Bay for whom we have household income data, using HUD guidelines, uAspire classifies 85% of these students as being from low-income households (<80% of AMI) and 12% of them as being from moderate-income households (80-140% of AMI).

During the 2017-18 school year, uAspire Bay Area is serving more than 3,500 12th graders—2,500 with one-on-one services—in high schools in San Francisco, Oakland, and Hayward and in partnership with eight UC campuses. See a full list of our partner sites here.


A national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, uAspire came to the Bay Area in 2013 thanks to a seed investment from the GreenLight Fund, a venture philanthropy firm that identifies service gaps for children, youth, and families in high-need areas and imports proven models to address those needs. GreenLight Fund identified college persistence supports as a critical service gap in the region and, after vetting 80 organizations, selected uAspire as an organization best poised to address that need.

We opened our doors to Bay Area youth in January 2014 and commenced our first full year of services in August of that year. Over our first four years in the Bay Area, uAspire provided our one-on-one college affordability advising to over 4,000 high school students.

Learn More

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