College Possible Milwaukee has received a three-year $700,000 grant from the Burke Foundation, a Milwaukee-based foundation that invests in opportunities to improve urban education and youth leadership and development. The grant will support College Possible Milwaukee’s expansion into several high schools in the next three years in order to serve even more Milwaukee students through its college access and success programs.
“College Possible is thrilled to be joining the Burke Foundation’s portfolio of grantees. This support will significantly increase the number of Milwaukee students attending college and earning degrees,” explains Edie Turnbull, College Possible Milwaukee Executive Director.
Launched in 2008, College Possible Milwaukee currently serves over 2,500 students including 600 high school students at 10 partner high schools in Milwaukee and more than 800 college students at colleges nationwide. The program provides guidance to students throughout their junior and senior years of high school and continues to support them until their graduation from college. This spring is the first year College Possible will have college graduates from Milwaukee area high schools.
The Burke Foundation has historically supported innovative programs that improve urban education, youth and leadership development by focusing on the well-being of youth and future leaders and addressing long-term viability in the changing community.
“The Burke Foundation is especially inspired by the outstanding outcomes the College Possible team has been able to achieve including increasing ACT scores, college acceptance rates, and college persistence rates for low-income students in Milwaukee,” says Deanna Singh, Executive Director of the Burke Foundation.
College Possible recently received recognition at a White House gathering in January. The summit, jointly-led by the First Lady’s office and officials from the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council and the Department of Education, addressed stark class disparities among college students and graduates.
College Possible also received attention in November when Harvard University released historic results from a study using randomized controls, considered to be the gold standard of evaluation. The findings show that College Possible’s approach to unlocking the potential of low-income students is effective and that students served are significantly more likely to enroll in a four-year college.
Lead researcher Dr. Chris Avery explains, “While there are many organizations working to promote college access for low-income students, to my knowledge, College Possible is the only program that has demonstrated its success in increasing applications and enrollment at four-year colleges in a randomized trial.” Dr. Avery’s analysis estimates that the College Possible program increases enrollment in four-year colleges by 15 percentage points, and this result is statistically significant.