College Now Greater Cleveland

College Now Greater Cleveland

For 50 years, College Now’s mission has been to increase postsecondary educational attainment through college and career access advising; financial aid counseling; and scholarship and retention services. Each year, College Now serves 27,000 traditional students and adults in 185 Northeast Ohio schools, libraries, businesses and community centers. College Now awards $3.4 million in need based, renewable scholarships annually and has awarded $71 million in scholarships since inception.

Since 2011, College Now has matched each of its traditional scholarship recipients with a mentor in the community, with a goal of increasing the college completion rate among scholarship recipients from 60% to 80%, the rate at which students from the highest income quartile complete college. More than 1,100 community members, representing over 400 local employers, serve as mentors to College Now scholarship recipients.

As a result of the mentoring program, the first to second year retention rate among scholarship recipients is 93%, as compared to 73% nationally among students from similar backgrounds.

College Now also works to remove obstacles that stand in the way of adult students pursuing postsecondary education and offers a robust menu of adult programs and services,
College Now Greater Cleveland
including college and career access advising, financial aid counseling, scholarships and student loan restructuring. In the four years since College Now began its student loan restructuring services, for example, it has saved over 900 individuals $81 million in student loans through loan consolidation and enrolling eligible adults for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

College Now helps students as early as middle and high school, as well as adult learners, achieve their dreams of going to and succeeding in certificate, two year and four year degree programs. Many of our students are from low income families and are first generation college students.

Fundraising and events

The Bag Lady Luncheon is College Now’s signature fundraising event and features a silent auction of hundreds of designer handbags, fine accessories and unique experiences. Proceeds from this biannual event support the College Now Mentoring Program.

Invest in Success is an annual event that provides College Now Greater Cleveland with the opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the impact of an individual on our organization and our community.

How to help

Become a mentor: The College Now Mentoring Program began in 2011 as an effort to increase college completion rates among College Now scholarship recipients from 60% to 80%. The mentoring program has successfully scaled from a pilot of 50 pairs in 2011 to matching all scholarship recipients 1,100 total, 350 new freshmen annually with a mentor in the community. Since the inception of the mentoring program, College Now scholarship recipients have a first to second year retention rate of 93%, compared to 73% nationally among students from similar backgrounds. The mentoring program recruits year round.

Give: By giving to College Now Greater Cleveland, you are making an investment in the future of individuals and of our community. Every year, College Now works with more than 27,000 students and adult learners in over 185 schools and community venues across Northeast Ohio to achieve their goals of higher education and prepare for careers in today’s competitive workplace.

Kristen Baird Adams, executive committee (PNC)Susan M. Tyler,
College Now Greater Cleveland
executive committee (community leader).