School counselors often lack the training and capacity to provide the college affordability planning and financial aid coaching students need. uAspire is the strongest program providing students with access to accurate financial aid information and guidance, which is one of the greatest barriers underserved youth face when trying to access a properly matched college.

We supported a pilot of the first replication of uAspire’s Virtual+Training (V+T) model in New York City. Through the V+T model, uAspire partners with other community-based organizations on a joint delivery model to provide direct guidance to students through timely, personalized text message-based coaching, and to train student-serving staff on the college affordability process. We also supported uAspire’s development of its Training & Technical Assistance (T&TA) program in New York and forged training partnerships that address practitioner knowledge gaps and strengthen college affordability culture and practices with a goal of increasing financial aid form completion, student matriculation, and college persistence.

We paired our funding of the T&TA program with access to real-time support for partnering organizations through an online Partner Portal, which offers an ask-an-advisor type tool as well as additional staff- and student-facing resources.

Heckscher's multifaceted partnership with uAspire - thought partnership, strategic guidance, and financial support - demonstrates the Foundation's deep commitment to communities across New York City. Through this partnership, uAspire continues to support thousands of college students across the City with our text-based college affordability advising, and now we are expanding our support of practitioners through our training and technical assistance programming. Working closely with the Heckscher team ensures that our expertise is strategically aligned and prioritized to meet the biggest needs.
Jaclyn Piñero
Chief Executive Officer, uAspire