Media Highlights

Opportunity Nation Welcomes College Visions to our Coalition

by Moira Hinderer   •  

We are thrilled that Rhode Island-based College Visions has joined our diverse and growing coalition.

This innovative nonprofit provides low-income and first generation college-bound youth with individualized advising and resources. Supports include taking students on campus visits, helping fill out financial aid applications and assisting with college selection. Unlike many other programs aiming to help first-generation students, College Visions’ support doesn’t end with successful college enrollment.

College Visions maintains relationships with the students they serve all throughout their college experience. Staff members regularly call, email, text and even visit in person when possible to check in on students. We send them care packages during midterms, help students who are struggling access support services such as tutoring, and make sure students thrive on campus and achieve their ultimate goal — earning their bachelor’s degree.

This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of College Visions.  We are proud to report that so far, we have 100 graduates from various institutions of higher learning, including Brown University, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross, Goucher College, Mount Holyoke College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, Union College, University of Rhode Island and University of Rochester.  

This spring, we expect 40 more of our students to graduate from many of the above institutions as well as several new ones. These include Brandeis University, Hampshire College, Middlebury College, Providence College and Salem College.

Many of these students may never have made it to and through college were it not for College Visions. RI Kids Count has reported that 88% of Providence Public Schools students said that they planned to attend college in 2012, but only 38% actually applied. College Visions serve the students stuck in this gap – those who want to got to college but aren’t sure how to get there.

The students we serve are diverse, but all have one thing in common: a deep desire to get ahead through the power of higher education.

  • The median family income of the students we serve is $20,900 a year, and 96 percent quality for free or reduced-cost lunch at school.
  • Most will be the first in their families to attend college.
  • Half of our students – 51 percent – are Hispanic; 36 percent identify as black or mixed race. The remainder identify as Asian or white.
  • College Visions serves students with a broad range of prior academic achievement.  The average GPA for a CV student is 2.8/4.0 and their average SAT is 870/1600.  

We work hard to make sure that the colleges where our students enroll are the right fit, culturally and financially. More and more higher education institutions are offering academic and personal supports for first-generation college students, recognizing they face unique challenges, and we seek out those institutions for our students. College also has to be affordable for our students. Our first-year college students receive an average financial aid offer that meets 98% of their demonstrated need (as calculated on the FAFSA).

We know that one of the best routes to upward mobility and stronger communities is through access to higher education, a successful college experience and a valuable degree at the end of all that hard work.

College Visions believes all students should have the opportunity to embark on meaningful education and career pathways after high school. We are proud to help Rhode Island students find their paths, and to join Opportunity Nation, the national campaign to expand economic mobility and close the opportunity gap in America.


Moira Hinderer

College Visions Development and Operations Manager

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