Nonprofit Philadelphia Futures has a 25-year history of helping the city’s low-
income high school students get into college.
The organization’s track record is pretty solid: Since its founding as a college access and success nonprofit 25 years ago, Philadelphia Futures has had 100 percent of its students get into at least one college, with 98 percent attending.
This year is no different. According to the organization, 100 percent of this year’s class of 86 students have received college acceptance letters. (This is its 22nd year of 100 percent acceptance, because the first program class started as high school freshmen.) Plus, Philadelphia Futures is celebrating the college graduation of 50 program participants this spring.
Two of the organization’s programs — Sponsor-A-Scholar and College Connection — work in tandem to yield those results (and they were very close to losing 12 percent of their funding this year).
“Helping our students select the school that is the right fit for them — academically, socially and financially — is key to their long-term success,” said Executive Director Joan Mazzotti in a statement.
But it’s much more than that. On top of a number of strategic partnerships with local universities, the nonprofit maintains a serious benchmarking system for its programs that it leverages to inform its college success.
Philadelphia Futures has been meticulously tracking data for its flagship program, Sponsor-A-Scholar, since the nonprofit’s inception. According to the data, the real challenge is not college access — it’s college success. The projected college graduation rate for Philadelphia Futures’ 2005 to 2011 class is 71 percent.