We formed a strategic partnership with other funders for and helped to lead the design, incubation and scaling of CollegePoint—a coalition of nonprofit organizations helping high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students gain admission to top-performing colleges and universities nationwide. Over a five-year period, over 30,000 CollegePoint students from the classes of 2015 to 2019 were admitted to match colleges and universities, often accepting financial aid packages that make those institutions less expensive than open-access colleges, forever transforming their own lives and the lives of their families.
CollegePoint is a prime example of our venture philanthropy approach in its achievement of broader impact through collaboration. Leading program partners have included College Advising Corps, College Possible, ScholarMatch and Matriculate (each of which contributed to a squad of well-trained college access advisors) as well as the College Board, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, New Profit Inc., America Achieves, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Khan Academy and the Aspen Institute. Two leading professors in the college success field, Dr. Ben Castleman (University of Virginia) and Dr. Eric Bettinger (Stanford University), have been researching the impact of the program. Preliminary findings from a randomized controlled trial indicated that advising had a statistically significant effect on student’s matriculation outcomes at top colleges and universities. In addition to highlighting the positive impact of CollegePoint, the study is significant for its contribution to the field—providing proof of concept where evidence of effectiveness, particularly for a scalable model, is limited. In 2019, CollegePoint was spun off into Bloomberg Philanthropies, where it will become a well-supported internal Bloomberg program.