News & Events

The 27th Edition of Step Up to College Is Now Available

GuideCoverPhiladelphia Futures has released its 27th edition of Step Up to College: Philadelphia’s Guide to the College Preparation, Application, Admissions & Financial Aid Processes – a 68-page publication designed to shepherd high school students and their college support teams through each stage of the college admissions and financial aid processes, from understanding college admission options to writing application essays, from conquering the FAFSA to making the right college “fit” decision.

Beginning on October 10, 2016, Philadelphia Futures began the distribution of 42,000 print copies of Step Up to College to every public, public charter and parochial high school in Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia, government offices and community-based organizations. Step Up to College is available without cost to eliminate any barriers to access.    

Features of the 2016-2017 Guide include:

  • A new, easy-to-navigate magazine format.
  • Reflections from Philadelphia high school graduates on why college was the right choice for them.
  • Expanded offerings on understanding options for college and finding the right “fit.”
  • The seven strategies for conquering the FAFSA.
  • The ever-popular, grade-specific checklists and hands-on activities. 

A complete PDF version of Step Up to College can be downloaded at

LogoIntroducing the NEW Step Up to College Mobile App   

In November, Philadelphia Futures will launch a new mobile app developed in collaboration with PECO.  The app will provide students, parents and youth-serving professionals with enriched access to key aspects of the Guide whenever and wherever needed.

Interactive features of the mobile app include:

  • A "fit" form to help students qualitatively and quantitatively compare schools' academic, social and financial fit.
  • The ability to record responses to questions asked on college visits.
  • Tools to help brainstorm, write and proofread college essays.
  • A college cost calculator that allows students to analyze and compare financial aid offers.
  • The ability to track each step of the college admissions process. 

“The Step Up to College Guide is a critical resource for students in Philadelphia, and we are excited to be launching a new mobile app, which will further support the college aspirations of students across the City,” said Joan C. Mazzotti, Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures. “As apps have become a popular and ubiquitous way of receiving information, it was essential that we embrace this technology and meet students where they are. We are profoundly grateful to our partners at PECO for the expertise and creativity they brought to this project.” 

Step Up to College Digital Media Resources

In addition to the mobile app, Step Up to College is accompanied by a suite of digital media resources – a video series, website and social media pages. With its content now available in a range of digital formats, Step Up to College has expanded its reach well beyond Philadelphia.

Step Up to College Video Series

  • Three, 20-minute videos cover critical aspects of the college admissions process: Preparing for College, Understanding College Fit and Applying to College. The videos and accompanying PowerPoint presentations are accessible on the Step Up to College website and YouTube channel. A trailer for the Video Series can be viewed at

Step Up to College Website

  • In addition to hosting the Video Series, the website features a college-going calendar, updated monthly tips and listings of college prep resources.

Step Up to College Social Media

  • Daily tweets and posts provide timely tips and links to important resources and information about the college-going process. Follow the Step Up to College Facebook and Twitter page for more information. 

This year’s publication and distribution of the Guide is made possible through the support of 12 Pennsylvania colleges and universities and Army ROTC, which are featured in the publication.