Collegetracks

Rating: 4.95 stars   19 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Education

Location: 5126 Manning Dr Bethesda MD 20814 USA

Mission: Every Montgomery County high school graduate deserves the chance to go to college or technical school. CollegeTracks improves college access for students who are most at risk of not attending college ?first-generation college bound, low-income, minority, and immigrant youth.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Great organization that helps over 700 first in their families to attend higher Ed institutions. Over $6 million in financial aid was awarded to CollegeTracks applicants last year. They support students throughout their college experience so they not only enter but also get through it and are poised for success. 10 years old this year!

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

CollegeTracks is an exceptional organization, led and staffed by committed individuals who really make college an opportunity for low income kids in Montgomery County. It provides a service that just would not be there if CollegeTracks wasn't-- test prep, application process, financial aid, and working thorugh all the complexity of 'first in their family' low income kids understanding and navigating the process. The staff and volunteers are great, and it is so fulfilling to see these kids shine and really take a step to building a better future for themselves!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with the Board, meeting with the kids, and working with the staff.

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

Work harder to put in place funding to expand and deliver more of the program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing the kids really progress in their lives and find opportunities for college that they never new existed!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Fantastic-- committed, hard working, and excited.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Really improve college access in our public schools.

Ways to make it better...

There was more funding available to build the programs.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Managing success and expansion.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I work with students to navigate the college application process. The majority qualify for free and reduced lunch and are first generation college aspirants and/or english is a second language so help from home is more limited. The subject matter of their essays shows maturity, bravery, and perserverance; they undergo experiences that most of their peers never face. They don't always understand that they are unique in overcoming unusual obstacles. They all understand the importance of a college education. I greatly admire how much they can/have accomplished on their own and with College Tracks guidance. The leverage to society of College Tracks' work is enormous.

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?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

These high school juniors and seniors are primarily first generation college go-ers and lack guidance at home to complete the process. Their essays are wonderful testaments to the difficulties they have overcome, from homelessness to English as a second language, to working while attending school, to caring for their family members while attending school. There is no question that they want to attend college; they just need guidance to complete the process to get there.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the acceptances the students receive for college. Some are local schools becuase they are needed at home, but some are far flung and considerable financial aid packages, some of the packages quite complex.

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

encourage more adults to get involved in helping them. the staff does an amazing job on a small budget.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the achievement oriented students and the nurturing and knowledgeable staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

informed, gracious, patient, instructive.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

enrich the aspects they already serve, such as providing guidance during the school transition, helping with travel funds or uncovered school expenses, providing mentors or contacts while at college in order to help keep them there.

Ways to make it better...

I were more knowledgeable, but now, 2 years later, I am more helpful to the students.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

meeting the demand by students in underserved areas.

One thing I'd also say is that...

These students can make a real contribution to society. Getting them into college is so important for our society.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

College Tracks is a powerful educational model for bringing the community together to support low income students and their families. It provides unique and sorely needed opportunities to educate students about the college process, obtain pubic grants and private scholarships, and balance their current needs with their dreams for the future. College Tracks also educates parent volunteerss on the college process and the challenges facing underserved communities. Its a win-win partnership and its leadership deserves the highest commendation!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Ive personally experienced the results in witnessing the students navigate the complexities of the college and scholarship process, be accepted and attend college, and express pride and joy in their accomplishments!

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

If I had to make changes, I would fund College Tracks more heavily, hire more staff, and take the model to every underserved high school in the country.

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Rating: 4 stars  

The people who run College Tracks genuinely care about giving top-quality educational opportunities to students whose family finances would shut them out from these resources. College Tracks dedicates itself to recruiting and encouraging students who start out with fewer advantages and less academic preparation than their peers--and the program gives them the opportunity to work on skills that will help them to compete and succeed, encouraging them to pursue a college education. I applaud the organization, and I have tremendous respect and admiration for the fellow teachers and tutors who offer top-quality instruction to students who need it most.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My teaching of College Tracks students, who were apt in learning strategies for the SAT and ACT, and who were very grateful to have guidance on this important area of college preparation. One CT student, a refugee, won a merit scholarship to college.

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

More resources! Although they do very well with what they've got, with more, this organization could do what it does best; smaller classes would help the students even more.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The dedication of the staff and the enthusiasm of the students who benefit from it.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Kind, caring, strong leaders, and committed to helping students achieve their goals, and set high goals for their future education.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Institute itself in a more systematic way to help disadvantaged students prepare for college entrance tests in a manner that is equitable with their advantaged counterparts' preparation; they would help to make U.S. education truly democratic.

Ways to make it better...

The classes for students could have been smaller so that their learning could be more individualized.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding and parent/student commitment.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

A lean, extraordinarily effective organization. Just ask the hundreds of students whose lives they have changed at B-CC and Wheaton High Schools.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have observed lots of non-profits try to assist people in need. I ran an NGO myself and used to do substantial legal pro bono work. In few of those activities, however, have I felt that the organizations leading such efforts, made as much of a permanent difference in as many peoples' lives as College Tracks does in their daily work. With the guidance from College Track's lean and extraordinary staff, volunteers really can help College Tracks in their singular work opening up opportunities for students who would miss them entirely. The warm, encouraging, disciplined atmosphere keeps the kids and volunteers coming back.

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

Clone Liz McLeod (B-CC) and Karen Tcheyan (Wheaton) and their tiny staffs. Their warm personalities, drive and knowledge is why the students want to come in and do the hard and sometimes tedious work that needs to be done to open doors.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The warmth and humor. Students respond to that encouragement and meet deadlines and make hard choices when they're in that kind of warm, but disciplined environment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change even more lives; identify students earlier and keep in touch when they're in college or post-high school employment.

Ways to make it better...

my early trainings had been more hands-on.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money; trying to meet the demand; staying small enough to remain personal, but meeting a huge demand;

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with CollegeTracks since January, 2007. I am the past president of the Board, a current Board member, and an active volunteer. I currently help prepare kids at Wheaton High School for the ACT.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have observed CollegeTracks assist hundreds of students through the entire college admission's process. I have seen kids obtain acceptance to, and financial aid for, colleges and universities they never would have known about without CollegeTracks.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the wonderful kids!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The best!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand to meet the needs of many more students.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

College Tracks is an amazing college access nonprofit assisting underserved students in Montgomery County. Not only is it helping students attend college, but in the process students are learning more about themselves; gaining self confidence and trusting in their abilities. The staff works with students one-on-one in an encouraging and positive environment. They look at each student's individual situation and tailor college suggestions appropriately. After college acceptance they are not "forgotten" but actively followed by College Track's College Success program. College Tracks is truly making a difference in students lives and it's so exciting to be a part of it. I'm sure volunteers and staff would agree that we are the lucky ones to be able to get to know and work with these fantastic students!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the growing number of students helped by College tracks and successful in their college search.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The company I work for works with College Tracks by providing standardized test preparation assistance. We typically work with a small group of students for 2-4 months leading up to an exam. College Tracks steps in to provide so many services, all of the services, that so many of these students need in the college process. As a volunteer, I have appreciated how easy College Tracks has made it for me to jump right in with the students and focus on what they need that I can give them. They have been flexible with my schedule in setting up sessions. College Tracks is making a tangible difference in the lives of all of its students.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Watching several juniors and seniors get into more summer programs, and then into more colleges because of their work with College Tracks.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The staff is friendly and helpful. Even when giving me feedback.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Local Directors, parents, Americorps staff. All were friendly.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the lives of thousands of students. Getting some who wouldn't go to college in to college and getting those going to college into even better options (competitiveness/financial aid).

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

College Tracks is a well run organization with a well-defined mission: helping kids make it to college who don't have the parental/advisee infrastructure available to guide them throught the college application process. I have worked with many kids who are in college now, who would not be there without the help that College Tracks provided. These are smart, able kids who just need advice on how to navigate the VERY DIFFICULT application process.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the lives of the students that are now attending college.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a pediatrician and a parent, I understand how difficult it can be to navigate the college application process for even the most pampered children. Helping the student population at Wheaton High School is immensely gratifying as they are often without home support and they are tremendously appreciative. Many are new immigrants and/or first generation college attendees. Getting into college will hopefully enable their entire family to benefit from their experience. I have learned as much from them about their life's experiences as they have learned from me about the application process. I love reading their college essays and helping them tell their own often fascinating stories in their own voice.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my weekly encounters with exceptional students and staff. I love to see where the students get into college, what funding they get and then hear the follow up as they begin the college process.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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