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Strive for College is a new approach to correcting the inequalities of college access. Strive recruits undergraduate student mentors from local universities to guide low-income high school students through the process of applying to, enrolling in and paying for four-year colleges and universities. We are a national organization with chapters across the country.

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Mentors log in to UStrive here.

What is Strive?

Change one life, change one thousand.

About Strive


Strive for College is about the incredible change that can come from one moment, one interaction, one person. Our vision is to change the very face of higher education in America, making college a reality for every qualified student, regardless of income or background.

The Strive mentoring program connects low-income high school students with undergraduate student mentors, who work with them one-on-one through the college application and financial aid processes over the course of one year.


“The best thing about Strive is definitely the relationship that I’ve formed with the students. I feel like my mentee’s big sister, and have an actual relationship with her.”
Mentor Whitney Parnell
St. Louis, MO

We aim to help students who need it most: the thousands of qualified low-income students whose talent is lost every year simply because they lack the knowledge, motivation or resources to realize their true potential. In the process, we are working to build a powerful national movement of college students dedicated to lifelong service and social entrepreneurship.


College students are uniquely suited to be the perfect mentors through the college process for high school students.  Why?  They just did it.  Mentors have a recent and successful experience with applying to college, and know how to communicate with students.  Over the course of their Strive year, mentors form special bonds and friendships with their students that have the power to inspire and motivate.


Students start Strive for College in the spring of their junior year, and stay with us through the spring of their senior year.  Over the course of weekly or bi-weekly sessions, students develop friendships with their mentors that help them to master the application process and find success.

Strive aims to have students leave each session and our program excited and motivated about college and what lies ahead - and to have that motivation spread across schools and communities.  We encourage all of our graduating students to start Strive chapters at their new colleges, and keep them connected to Strive through a growing alumni network.


Strive for College operates through student-run chapters at college and universities.  Students start a chapter and, with the help and support of the university and the community, recruit fellow students to serve as mentors for students at a local high school. 

Strive’s chapter system builds leadership and allows students to run their own mini-nonprofit at their college, while allowing Strive for College’s national staff to maintain accountability, measure impact and build a strong college-going culture in the community.


The Strive for College mentoring program uses our comprehensive curriculum, which guides students through the college application and financial aid processes over the course of one year. 

Strive’s curriculum is more than text on a page:  Strive sessions are interactive and dynamic, focused on bringing students and mentors together and building excitement and motivation.

The Strive for College curriculum is built with advice and input from top college admissions and financial aid experts from around the country.  Strive provides a nationally standardized curriculum for all chapters and participating schools, to which chapters add information and resources about local colleges and local opportunities.