The College Connection Program is a comprehensive, individualized, and rigorous college access program serving promising students in Philadelphia’s public, public charter, and parochial high schools beginning in their junior year. This two-year intensive program guides academically prepared students through the college application, admissions, and financial aid processes. As our students matriculate to college, they transition from our College Connection program to our College Success program, which works with them through college completion.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for the College Connection program, a student must:

  • Live in Philadelphia and attend a Philadelphia Public, Public Charter, or Parochial high school.
  • Currently be in 10th grade.
  • Be a first-generation-to-college student.
    • This means that neither biological parent has a bachelor’s degree from an American college or university.
  • Meet family income guidelines
    • This is determined by the number of people who live in your household. We require that applicants submit proof of family income.

Application Process

To gain admission to the College Connection program, students must complete a competitive application process. The three-round process requires academic information and test scores, a supplemental essay, biographical information, information on extracurricular activities, family financial information, and an interview for finalists. Students can apply to the College Connection program using our online application.

Program Benefits

College Connection students benefit from personalized college guidance and individualized staff support throughout their junior and senior years of high school; weekly college-readiness programming, including SAT prep; educational resources like tutoring and access to a computer lab; and support services throughout their time in college. Additionally, students have access to summer programming and extracurricular activities such as the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) and Young Women Rising (YWR), as well as the opportunity to receive career exposure and financial incentives (White-Williams Scholars Incentive Awards) for strong academic performance. 

A Connection to Higher Education

College Connection students have the opportunity to visit multiple college campuses throughout our program and to attend attend Admissions Information Sessions for a variety of colleges throughout the country who visit our office. Additionally, our partner colleges offer special opportunities to those students who qualify, including extensive financial aid packages and critical on-campus supports for students who attend from Philadelphia Futures. All College Connection scholars are supported through college graduation.

Program Successes

One hundred percent of the College Connection class of 2020 was accepted to college and 100% matriculated in fall 2020. In June 2019, we celebrated the first graduating class of College Connection collegians.