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Follow the Data Podcast: Virtual College Advising – Does It Work?

While heading back to school during the pandemic is anxiety-inducing for students, parents, and educators, this fall can be particularly stressful for high school students applying to college, as the coronavirus has upended many aspects of the college application process.

CollegePoint is a virtual advising program that aims to help as many as 65,000 high-achieving, low-income high school students apply to college, navigate the financial aid process, and decide which college to attend – entirely for free. The program matches each student with a virtual college advisor who provides personalized college application and financial aid support through text messages, e-mails, and video conference calls.

The initiative focuses on talented low-income students because research shows in the U.S., more than half of these students do not apply to any selective colleges or universities despite their qualifications. Only six percent of students at top colleges and universities are low-income – yet when they apply to these institutions, they are accepted and graduate at the same rate as their wealthier peers.

On this episode, Jhenielle Reynolds, who works on the education team at Bloomberg Philanthropies, sits down with Rachel Maguire, a CollegePoint advisor, and Logan Balfantz, a recent CollegePoint alum who is now a freshman at the University of Notre Dame.

Rachel and Logan joined the podcast to tell us more about what it was like to work together through CollegePoint during Logan’s college application process, to give tips to students who may be applying to college during the pandemic, and to share advice for students and advisors who may be adjusting to tele-education methods during the pandemic.

You can listen to the podcast and past episodes in the following ways:

For more, episodes from our coronavirus series include: