CASE STUDY: Why low-income students need help

While postsecondary education is inarguably important, high-achieving low-income students enroll in four-year colleges at about half the rate of high-achieving high-income students (Breakthrough Collaborative). Colorado’s low-income students have a lower college participation rate than the national average of 25%; only 17% of low-income students in Colorado go to college (Colorado Commission on Higher Education).

With the average college graduate earning 73% more than the average high school graduate in a lifetime, not attending college creates a barrier to economic self-sufficiency. This burdens communities if significant numbers of the local population rely on government and nonprofit support for basic living needs.

Collegiate Crossings works to facilitate a cultural shift from post-high school work to college attendance. This is especially vital for families with first-generation college students and can narrow the educational gap between socioeconomic groups and provide opportunities that would not otherwise be available to students from low-income families. Collegiate Crossings helps students achieve higher education goals, breaking the cycle of poverty.

Jose*College Essays Collegiate Crossings

In high school, Jose was a three-star athlete maintaining a 4.0 GPA and serving on the Mayor’s Youth Council. He dreamed of attending a prestigious

college and majoring in business. Part of a third generation meat packing family with no college graduates, he was unsure how to begin making his dreams a reality. His two brothers teased him for wanting to go to college but Jose knew an education was the only way to pursue something other than meat packing.

Collegiate Crossings began working with Jose the summer before his senior year in high school. He wrote essays, contacted admission officers, and took the ACT twice to improve his score. By early December, applications were submitted to University of Denver, Syracuse, Boston College, Colorado State University, and the University of Colorado. In a last-ditch expression of faith in himself, he applied to University of California, Berkeley. Jose was accepted to all except one, where he was waitlisted. Coming from a family with one option – meat packing – Jose now had many options for his future. Jose is a now a freshman at UC Berkeley studying business entrepreneurship.

You can help students like Jose!


*Names changed