Abell Salutes: the CollegeBound Foundation

March 1999 / Salutes / Education

For leading students into college who weren’t headed there.

Since 1988, 50 percent more students in Baltimore City high schools are taking the SAT tests and twice the number of students are sending in applications to college. The pivotal year was 1988, the year  CollegeBound was established.

CollegeBound came into being as a result of a survey conducted by the Greater Baltimore Committee. The survey was designed to determine what issues the Baltimore leadership thought important leading up to Year 2000, and the results revealed a consensus. It was that young people applying for jobs had insufficient education to qualify for them. Not nearly enough had a college education.

“This was a defining moment for the Greater Baltimore Committee,” Joyce Kroeller, executive director, says. “The committee was linking economic development to education in the local workplace. It was the recognition of this linkage that brought CollegeBound Foundation into being. With energetic support from Mayor Kurt Schmoke and BUILD, our mandate took shape: ‘To encourage and enable Baltimore City public high school students to go to college.’”

To carry out that mandate, the CollegeBound Foundation was staffed and funded by money from the public and private sectors and the foundation community. CollegeBound would act as recruiters, advisors, and providers of last-dollar grants to Baltimore’s high school students who were not college bound but, in the view of CollegeBound, should have been.”

The CollegeBound staff conducts forums to familiarize students with admission procedures, SAT preparation, campus visits, and CollegeBound’s role in last-dollar grantmaking. It is difficult to measure the impact of CollegeBound on college admissions of Baltimore City’s public high schools overall. But the record shows that in addition to the increase in the number of students taking the SATs and who are sending in college
applications, 14,000 received college counseling and 608 students received a total of $1,771,861.

The Abell Foundation salutes the CollegeBound Foundation for encouraging and making it possible for more students to go to college, for developing better qualified candidates for local jobs, and in so doing, enriching the quality of life in Baltimore.