College Bridge


Why College Bridge?

Up to 1/3 of graduating seniors who are accepted to college and plan to enroll fail to do so in the fall Failure to matriculate can be traced to the many and complicated enrollment tasks that take place over the summer between high school and college Students with access to counselors in the summer after high school graduation are more likely to matriculate

What is College Bridge?

CARA’s College Bridge program addresses the gap in college guidance for first-generation-to-college students, low-income students, and students of color by training current college students, called Bridge Coaches, to support graduating high school students during their senior year and the summer before they matriculate into college. With 70+ hours of comprehensive training, Bridge Coaches develop a range of skills and content knowledge that they then use, alongside their unique near-to-peer perspective, to provide individualized support to graduating students.

During the school year, coaches work in the college office alongside schools’ college counselors, and conduct workshops with seniors; they then work one-on-one with students over the summer, helping graduates to complete final financial aid forms, figure out how to pay for textbooks, arrange transportation to college, and register for classes.

Both literally and figuratively, coaches help usher students through the door as they begin the next step of their educational journey.

To read more about the components of the College Bridge program, click here.



24% increase in FAFSA
completion, from 53%
to 77%

28% increase in TAP
submission, from 41%
to 69%

35% increase in deposits
paid to colleges, from
36% to 71%

11% increase in college
applications submitted,
from 77% to 88%

65% of college coaches
counseled family and
friends outside of the

“My senior year I had so many of the problems that they are having now, not getting my tests or the letters I needed. It is because of all those bumps that I hit in the road that I can do this work.”

-College Coach



Sites and Partnerships, 2017-18

  • Academy for Careers in Television and Film
  • Bronx Theatre High School
  • Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies
  • Essex Street Academy
  • Expeditionary School for Community Leaders
  • Flushing International High School
  • Forsythe Satellite Academy
  • Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School
  • Gotham Professional Arts Academy
  • Harlem Village Academy
  • High School for Youth and Community Development
  • High School of Computers and Technology
  • High School of Fashion Industries
  • High School of Hospitality Management
  • International Community High School
  • International High School at Lafayette
  • International High School at Prospect Heights
  • International High School at Union Square
  • International High School for Health Sciences
  • Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School
  • Lyons Community School
  • Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School
  • Pan American International High School at Elmhurst
  • Park East High School
  • Pelham Lab High School
  • Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts
  • Richmond Hill High School
  • The Facing History School
  • The Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights
  • The James Baldwin School
  • In collaboration with 30,000 Degrees:
    • McKee High School
    • New Dorp High School
  • In collaboration with Make the Road New York:
    • Academy for Environmental Leadership
    • Academy of Urban Planning
    • Bushwick School for Social Justice


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