A Life of Opportunity, Choice, Purpose, and Power

Our Philosophy

At College Track, we firmly believe that a bachelor’s degree remains the best predictor of economic mobility, civic engagement, lifelong wellness, and self-agency. By serving students from low-income communities who will become the first in their family to graduate from college, we fulfill the promise of higher education for generations to come. Our work is rooted at the intersection of educational equity and racial justice, setting the stage for our students to thrive in careers where people of color have been historically underrepresented.

We must inspire all students to develop the belief that they have the ability, and responsibility, to influence their own destiny.

National research continues to demonstrate that the most powerful way for first-generation students from low-income communities to earn a life of opportunity, choice, purpose, and power is through higher education.

On an individual level, earning a bachelor’s degree is crucial for economic success, civic engagement, and lifelong wellness. More broadly, having an educated populace strengthens our citizenry and gives voice to our most vulnerable communities.


The Organizational Focus

From the very beginning, College Track focused on supporting students with limited resources to chart their course to college. We quickly realized the importance of getting students through college.

Over the last 25 years, we’ve broadened our program to address the growing college completion gap, making a 10-year commitment to each and every student we serve. 

The State of the Union

The national college completion gap has directly contributed to the greatest income inequality in our country’s history. At the rate we’re going, less than one third of America’s youth will be able to participate in the 2020 economy.

A bachelor’s degree is one of the most valuable tools we have to democratize access to the 21st-century workforce and meet the needs of a diversifying population. We know we can all do more to make sure today’s students have what they need to realize their potential and contribute their gifts to the world.


of Americans from the lowest income quartile receive a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24


of Pell-eligible students who enroll in college will graduate


new jobs will be added to the American economy over the next two years


of those jobs will require post-secondary education

 Potential Realized

We are honored to work with students on their educational journey from freshman year of high school until they walk across the stage at college graduation.

Our students realize an immeasurable transformation and return to their communities to share with younger generations that there’s nothing holding them back from greatness.

Every passing day, their persistence, creativity, and extraordinary discipline fuels and motivates us to work harder and continue making the dreams of a four-year college degree a reality for America’s youth. 


Whether it’s the family I’m from, those in Nigeria or here in the U.S., or the family I choose, my advisors at College Track who made me feel worthy of achieving my dreams, family has played a major role in my life. Whatever I end up doing, I know that I’ll give it all I’ve got. I plan to be a role model for every kid like me, who thinks they can’t succeed.

Oreoluwa Folarin | College Track Aurora, UC Boulder graduate

College Track saw something in me before I saw it myself. I had no idea what it meant to be a part of this program or what going to college meant. I took a leap of faith and it turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to me. I found a place that became an anchor in my life. No matter what was going on, they always supported me. They didn’t just help me get to college, they built a family around me so I could graduate. I felt so genuinely comfortable there. It was a second home.

Marcus Simpson | College Track Oakland, Howard University and John Hopkins University graduate

There are moments at work that I realize I am the only woman and person of color in a room full of engineers. I remind myself that I am a talented Latina working on underwater vehicles at Boeing and that I inspire others ready to follow my path to reach their full potential. That is the American Dream.

Estefania Avila | College Track East Palo Alto, MIT graduate

To be the first generation in my family to graduate college will be a big accomplishment. Not just for me, but for my mom. I want to prove to her that everything she’s done for us has paid off. I AM College Track…. because I take charge of my own destiny.

Arthur Lemus | College Track Watts, University of California, Berkeley student

The Time is Now

Our work to equip first-generation students with the tools to reach their potential is more important now than it’s ever been.

If we want to solve the tough problems facing the world–climate change, disease, poverty–look no further than a first-generation college graduate. Look to the College Track student.

We are working towards a world where our students reach beyond the limits of what we knew was possible. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of understanding the full potential of what our college graduates can achieve. With your investment, their impact on the world is limitless.