Check out Steppingstone Scholars' new online course for low-income students applying to college - Generocity Philly


Feb. 16, 2017 12:30 pm

Check out Steppingstone Scholars’ new online course for low-income students applying to college

The nonprofit, which provides academic enrichment programs for minority and low-income students, collaborated with Penn to launch the course on Coursera.

A Steppingstone Scholar in action.

(Photo via

Ah, the college application process — something many prospective students dread and end up putting off until the conclusions of their high school careers.

But Steppingstone Scholars, the nonprofit established in 1999 to provide academic enrichment programs for minority and low-income students, believes first-generation and low-income students have particular difficulties navigating both the college search and admission processes.

That’s why Steppingstone, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Admissions, recently launched an online course called “How to Apply to College.

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The free, public course, offered through the Coursera platform, is the first collaboration between Penn and Steppingstone, according to a press release. While the course is specifically aimed toward the students looking to apply for college, it’s also designed to help families and counselors by providing information on topics such as how to afford and succeed in college.

It hopes to accomplish all this by linking students to video and web resources, in collaboration with organizations such as the Common Application and, an online platform that provides a way for high school students to raise money for college starting early based on their achievements.

Coursera screenshot Steppingstone Scholars

(Screenshot via Coursera)

“The authenticity of this course will really hit home because we are sharing the stories of first-generation students, including several Steppingstone Scholars [program participants] who are applying to or already in college, as well as four students from Penn who have traversed the process,” said Dr. Sean Vereen, president of Steppingstone, in a statement.

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Vereen and Eric Furda, dean of admissions at Penn, will be teaching the online course, which recommends a commitment of two to three hours a week from students.

Check out the syllabus and any other information about the course here.

Albert Hong

Albert Hong is Generocity's contributing reporter. He started hanging around the Technically Media office as a summer intern for and eventually made his way to freelancing for both news sites. While technology and video games are two of his main interests, he's grown to love Philadelphia as a city and is always excited to hear someone else's story.

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