College applications are difficult, both as a process and in the transition they represent, academically and socially. Not all high schools have sufficient resources to devote to helping students prepare for college, or with their applications. This leaves many students adrift, either inadequately prepared or struggling with a byzantine and often confusing application process.
Laurel Scholars strives to fill this gap, and we aren’t alone. There are many wonderful organizations and nonprofits that seek to help high school students stay on track academically, prepare for college, and successfully navigate the transition. Many of these are meant to help students in the organization’s local area, which makes sense. Before the digital age, and even now, it was often easiest to help students in your proximity.
For this reason, we are organizing these resources by location and city. We will be expanding this with more cities as time goes on. We will include a guide at the end to finding similar resources in your city.
UT Austin has a number of offerings in this field. These include:
Here are some other organizations working towards the same ends in and around Austin:
Many of these resources are offered by UCLA or USC, so these are grouped separately. Here are the offerings by UCLA:
Here are the program offerings by USC:
Here are some other free programs in the Los Angeles area which help students apply to or prepare for college:
One of the best places to start looking for college readiness programs is any local colleges and universities. Many of these schools, especially the ones with famous names or national prestige, have programs specifically to help residents of cities they inhabit apply to the school. It’s always good to keep locals on your side, and these schools are well aware of this.
What these programs are is highly variable, from one off events meant to interest local students in science and engineering, to scholarship programs, to mentoring, to college readiness summer programs. Different schools have different options, based on their own resources and priorities.
Your school counselor will be aware of resources available specifically through your high school. Some high schools have their own partnerships with universities or other organizations, and offer unique opportunities to their students through these programs.
Finally, most large cities have dedicated college access organizations, meant to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursue higher education. You can find these through your high school counselor, or through searching online; though those searches are often drowned out in paid services.
Our service, Laurel Scholars, is available virtually, and may be applied to by anyone, regardless of where you are in the country or around the world. Check out our application to see if we’re the right fit for you.