College Partners

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We are currently accepting applications through Wednesday, November 9, 2016 to be included in the 2017 I’m First! Guide to College. APPLY HERE

Strive for College (formerly Center for Student Opportunity) is a “voice for good” in the college access and success movement. Read about the CSO + Strive for College merger! 

For 10 years, we have worked in partnership with colleges and universities to recognize institutions for their commitment to low-income and first-generation college students and to support their efforts to better recruit and retain them on their campuses. Together, we are building a stronger nation by expanding college opportunity for deserving young people.

Now with Strive for College, we’re excited to bring College Partners into Strive’s innovative technology platform where trained volunteer mentors delivers free one-on-one virtual college advising to low-income and first-generation college-bound students. College Partners will receive an enhanced profile to highlight programs and opportunities for low-income and first-gen students, can connect with prospective students receiving mentoring, and are invited to engage alumni and current students as mentors on the platform.

A relationship with Strive for College benefits College Partners by directly connecting you to:

  • Prospective first-gen students and their supporters, current first-generation college students, and proud first-generation college graduates nationwide
  • Peer institutions with a track record of success recruiting, retaining, and graduating first-gens.
  • Supportive schools, community-based organizations, and college access programs

We also maintain an active network with philanthropic organizations, governmental agencies, and news media that are focused on college access and success. College Partners benefit by being part of this network.

Direct Benefits of Partnership:

  • Published profile and participation in the online community; soon to also include an web profile and participation in Strive’s mentoring platform
  • Showcase your campus’s first-gen community in the “I’m First!” Stories campaign on, highly connective and heartfelt YouTube video testimonies
  • Profile in the I’m First! Guide to College, a printed college guidebook distributed nationally to high schools and community-based organizations, and sponsor its distribution
  • Eligible to have your college’s first-gens win the prestigious I’m First! Scholarship and blog on
  • Engage your campus community and alumni network to become mentors with Strive

Networking and Communications Support:

Strive is also a collaborative learning community that connects College Partners with peers, students, and experts focused on advancing first-gen student recruitment and retention.

  • Strive + College Partner Exchange - Online discussion forum for learning and sharing supported by Google Groups
  • #FirstGenOfficeHour and Virtual Learning Sessions  – Live Twitter chats and on-air Google Hangouts for students, College Partners, and supportive organizations
  • Opportunity Knocks - Engaging e-news updates sent monthly to prospective first-gen students and counselors which spotlight College Partners with model first-gens programs
  • Best-practice Webinars & White Papers - In-depth examinations of exceptional strategies and tactics for recruiting and retaining first-gens
  • Technical Assistance – personalized program consulting and professional development to build upon innovative approaches and successful models for first-gen recruitment and retention

To learn more and get involved: