Bottom Line Inc

Rating: 4.81 stars   16 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 500 Amory St Suite 3 Jamaica Plain MA 02130 USA

Mission: Bottom Line was founded to address the low college graduation rates among disadvantaged urban youth. Our services aim to help low-income and first-generation students “get in to college, graduate from college, and go far in life.” We achieve this mission by providing students with consistent, one-on-one support from college applications until college graduation.
Results: 98% of high school seniors have been accepted to college and 80% of college students have graduated in 6 years or less.
Target demographics: low-income & first-generation college-bound students (ages 17-23) from Boston & Worcester, MA, & New York City
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,925 high school and college students
Geographic areas served: Boston and Worcester, MA; New York City
Programs: College Access Program: Students begin working with Bottom Line during their junior or senior year of high school. At first meetings, students discuss their interests, aspirations, academic history, and family circumstances with a Bottom Line counselor. Once students commit to our program, counselors help them navigate every step of the college application process. While the specific services Bottom Line provides differ to suit individual needs, our counselors typically help students in five areas: college lists, essays, applications, financial aid, and making a college choice. Counselors build a strong relationship with each student during regularly scheduled one-hour meetings, which allows them to support students through any obstacles that arise during the application process. When college acceptance and financial aid award letters arrive in the spring, Bottom Line helps each student review their options to select a college that best suits their academic, financial, and personal needs. College Success Program: After college decisions are made, students who elect to attend a “target school” are invited to join the College Success Program. A target school is one of 19 Massachusetts colleges that a large percentage of our students attend. As a first step to succeeding in college, students participate in transitional programming during the summer before their freshman year. Counselors work with students in groups and individually to prepare them for the academic rigor and cultural shock of college. This programming includes several workshops and events, as well as enrollment assistance, financial aid advising, and general problem solving during individual meetings. Once students arrive on campus, Bottom Line becomes a financial aid advocate, academic advisor, career counselor, and mentor. We offer consistent support to students in four areas: Degree, Employability, Aid, and Life (DEAL). Assisting our students in earning a degree means helping them select a suitable major, monitor their academic progress, develop strategies to improve their performance, and connect with tutors, advisors, and on-campus resources. We assist students in renewing financial aid annually, but also help year-round to resolve problems with tuition bills, determine how to pay balances, and encourage appropriate decisions that will allow students to avoid excessive debt. Additionally, Bottom Line helps students secure internships and part-time jobs, create and update their resumes, and build a unique brand that will allow them to leave college employable. Lastly, Bottom Line offers parent-like guidance and mentoring. The strong relationships counselors maintain with students enable our organization to offer consistent support and help students through unexpected obstacles, such as illness, pregnancy, debt, a death in the family, academic probation, or transferring to another college. This comprehensive support is provided for up to six years or until a student graduates.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As the first member in my family to attend college, I found the application process extremely intimidating. My counselor, Sarah, walked me through the process, from selecting schools to prepping my applications. When I received my acceptance letter from Brown, Sarah fought hard for my financial aid package and made sure that finances would not hinder me from attending my dream school. She also connected me to the Hayden Foundation, which funded a large portion of my remaining tuition balance.

Most other students had parents who could guide them through the college process, assuage their fears, and help them make tough decisions. I had Sarah. (And I sincerely could not have done it without her.)

Bottom Line has truly been a wonderful support network. Their support and guidance doesn't end with college. As I was looking to transition into a new position, Jen would send me daily job listings she thought would be interesting to me. The level of commitment and dedication from the staff is just inspiring.

I really cannot speak any more highly of Bottom Line. They're the best!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a Bottom Line alum, I am both a client served and a volunteer. From both sides of the fence, it is a rewarding experience. Bottom line is the reason why I am where here today. They helped me from getting into college, graduating and finding employment. They know the real meaning of the word support: the counselors were always there for me financially and emotionally. They are very knowledgeable about the process and they are also very patient. I take part of their volunteer activities as a way to give back and help extend that same opportunity to other kids. Bottom Line is a one of a kind non-profit organization that helps high school students getting a college education for a better tomorrow.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

.... can't think of anything that they are not doing

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Stephanie is really cool, she explains things thoroughly to me and when she has to rush through things she does it in a calm manner, which makes me think "I should do the same to not stress myself out on all this college application stuff” :D . Furthermore, she’s a good motivator and not too preppy which makes feel comfortable.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing seems to be changed

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My counselor gave me the confidence to go to college. She worked with me step by step to make sure I applied to colleges that I would enjoy. I am forever grateful to this program.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Bottom Line is a wonderful program that helps low-income and first-generation college students with their college application process and financial aid application. The counselors were very patient and helpful. They helped me whenever I had questions. Without the additional help from Bottom Line, I would not be able to manage to finish my all applications.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

Ray, my counselor has helped me conquer the common application and has helped me understand the college process a bit better.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

allow this program to be known all over the world, because high school seniors need more programs like this one.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was neverous beyond compare about the college process and I really doubted tgat I would get into my number 1 school but with Bottomline's help, I recieved helpfull critiques on my college essays, scholarships, and the latest tricks and tips when ot cones to financial aid which was so great that I go to school for free! I love this program and I highly recommend it!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My counselor Ray was really helpful to me. I appreciate all the information he gave me and all the things he told me that I didn't know. I liked the fact that he is always positive and he always try cheering me up. Ray always told me to put positivity on all the negativity. Also he is not a boring counselor. He does his job and makes it fun. I am so glad I got into the program. I appreciate everything and the opportunity given to me. Thanks!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am more than grateful to Bottom Line especially my amazing counselor, Emma. She is the best! She played an exceptional role during my college application process. I became part of Bottom Line during my junior year of high school and I think joining the organization is the most beneficial decision I have made so far in my life. My counselor was there throughout my roller coaster experience of applying to college, getting accepted and deciding on the college to attend. I don't know what i would have done with my life if Bottom Line doesn't exist. i can't to get to the point in my life when I can donate money to Bottom Line that would be used to help high school students like i was helped. Thanks to the founder and workers of the organization as a whole because without you all, Bottom Line wouldn't exist.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I became a student of Bottom Line during my junior year of high school. When I first joined, I was appointed a counselor who started to help me with the college application process. Bottom Line was able to waive the application costs and help me navigate the complex world of FAFSA. Till this day I have yet to complete FAFSA completely on my own thanks to my counselors Miriam and Tory. When the school decisions came in, my Bottom Line counselor and I had a meeting and compared the financial aid packages that were given to me by each school. It played a huge role in helping me decide what college to attend because she made the numbers make sense to me. She explained how many loans I would need from each school if I were to attend. After entering college, the counselor changed, but my new counselor helped me decided what classes to pick each semester and even helped me decide on a major. When the time came, he helped me apply for internships by editing my essays. I was able to get the internship and I spent my spring semester in Washington DC, interning at the Office of the Attorney General. However Bottom Line does not only help me with academic situations but also with other life struggles that I have faced. During my sophomore year of college I was faced with a case of identity theft where my brother used my SSN to take out credit cards and everything else that I was approved for. Although it was a difficult situation to get through, my Bottom Line counselor helped me contact the credit bureaus and got the situation solved. As a senior at Bridgewater State University and also as an intern at the Department of Revenue, I can honestly say that Bottom Line has contributed immensely to my college journey and has helped me get over the roadblocks that I have faced while in college.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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