Over 30 years, ACCESS has helped provide an opportunity for 60,000 students to receive a college education and make a difference.
“We provide educational pathways leading to certification or college degree attainment and career opportunities for students, particularly those who may not otherwise have access.”
“We will give every desiring student the opportunity to enrich their lives and our communities through training and education beyond high school.”
The ACCESS College Foundation is committed to the betterment of our students and to providing them with the tools necessary to be successful in their educational endeavors. Our goal is to ensure they are able to make informed decisions about postsecondary education and to provide academic, financial, and personal support while in college. ACCESS uses a collaboration of both financial and advisory resources to help students realize their dream of becoming a college graduate.
The full range of programs and services offered by ACCESS are available free of charge to all public high school students and parents in South Hampton Roads:
Early College Awareness Program
The ACCESS Early College Awareness Program succeeds in giving 7th and 8th graders a head start in understanding the necessary steps involved in attaining a postsecondary degree by providing workshops and advising sessions on topics that include but are not limited to future goals, career choices, educational opportunities after high school, financial aid literacy, and how to connect education to career. Student and parent participation in early college awareness activities foster a better understanding of the value, steps, and resources available in attaining a postsecondary education.
9th and 10th Grade Program
Freshmen and sophomores are assisted with developing a personal educational plan to keep them on track for high school graduation, while increasing their knowledge and aspirations for pursuing education after high school through the ACCESS 9th and 10th Grade Program. This program provides workshops for students, introducing them to "The Four A's" to accessing a path to college. Explicitly, the importance of: maintaining good Attendance, discovering one's Attitude towards life, Academic excellence, and propelling postsecondary educational planning into Action.
High School Program
The ACCESS High School Program increases the number of students who enroll in postsecondary institutions by guiding 11th and 12th grade students through the complicated college application/admission pipeline and engaging in meaningful conversations focused on “best fit” for these college-bound students. To overcome financial barriers for students whose families are not able to pay for college, ACCESS Advisors obtain fee waivers for SAT/ACT testing and college applications for qualifying students or ACCESS pays the fees for the SAT/ACT tests and college applications if necessary.
When students are able to visualize themselves on a college campus, they are better equipped to take on the challenge of making the grades and navigating the college application and financial aid processes. The ACCESS College Foundation provides guided tours of a variety of colleges and universities in Virginia free of charge to the students ACCESS serves. Tours are guided by college staff, and include motorcoach transportation, refreshments and/or meals and often provide on-site college admission sessions.
ACCESS "Last Dollar" Scholarships
To bridge the gap between the amount of financial aid received and the actual cost of attending college, our foundation awards need-based ACCESS "Last-Dollar" Scholarships to high school students who are pursuing postsecondary education.
The ACCESS "Last-Dollar" Scholarship application is made available to students in the spring of each school year. Please see your ACCESS Advisor for an application or check back to our website for updates!
College Success Program
The ACCESS College Success Program is made available to ACCESS Scholars attending one of 13 Virginia university/college campuses we serve (Christopher Newport University, George Mason University, Hampton University, Longwood University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Virginia Wesleyan College, and the four campuses of Tidewater Community College). ACCESS Scholars participating in the ACCESS College Success Program benefit from the provision of support services through one-on-one and group counseling sessions with one of our advisors for academic, adjustment, financial, and personal issues.
Career Connection Program
The Career Connection Program provides ACCESS Scholars the opportunity to work directly with our Career and Alumni Engagement Coordinator during their junior and senior years of college in order to improve the odds that they will receive full-time employment upon graduating college. The Career and Alumni Engagement Coordinator provides weekly updates that include information on interview and resume training skills as well as internship and job opportunities with community partners.
Scholarship Administration for Other Organizations
In addition to the services we offer local students, ACCESS also manages scholarship programs for other local individuals, organizations, outside agencies and businesses. Management involves a nominal fee for publicizing the program, reviewing applicants, establishing the criteria and selecting recipients.