“Great wisdom is generous” – Chuang Tzu Each day at CDI our counselors and staff work tirelessly to provide our Scholars with the tools, training, and support to help them advance on the path to a college degree. Beginning in 10th grade and continuing for an unprecedented six years, the CDI Scholars Program truly changes lives by giving bright, motivated high school students the chance to create a life of opportunity. From test preparation, admissions counseling, and application assistance, to leadership training, study skills workshops, and mental health counseling, CDI works closely with Scholars, empowering them to reach their academic…

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College options and the conventional wisdom trap

  For many low-income students, seemingly practical choices are likely to spell disaster and permanently derail their dreams of obtaining a college degree. As the cost of attending college continues to rise, paying for college is presenting an even greater challenge for a growing number of students and their families. But for middle to low-income households, the problem is particularly acute as they search for a path through the maze of college financing options that avoids, or at least minimizes, the crushing debt from student loans that can slow their new college graduate’s upward economic mobility. A recent article in…

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Defining the Cost of College

Study shows how confusing, misleading financial aid information can lead to unanticipated costs. For a large segment of high school graduates and their families cost is the primary determining factor in choosing a college, making the assessment of financial aid offerings a critical decision. Typically, information regarding the amount and type of financial aid a student will receive arrives after they are notified that they have been accepted to a particular college. With financial aid award packages in-hand students and families must then sort through their options to arrive at a final selection that is the best financial and academic…

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CDI’s Board of Trustees Welcomes New President

Dear Friends of CDI, CDI’s Board of Trustees is delighted to welcome our new President, Amma Felix, who joined on September 5, 2017. Amma has worked as an executive in both the higher education and K-12 spaces at the United Negro College Fund in Washington, DC and the Abyssinian Development Corporation in New York City. Her deep nonprofit management background in strategy, program operations, philanthropy and organizational development will be an asset to our work. I know that Amma wholeheartedly shares our passion to provide students with access and opportunities that will have a multiplier effect on their lives for…

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CDI Hosts College Advising Landscape Panel

On Wednesday, April 5th, Collegiate Directions, Inc. will host a panel at the Sulgrave Club in DC on the college advising landscape. The panel will discuss the challenges of college advising today, and the support that low-income, first-generation students need to succeed. It will also serve as the official launch of CDI’s new School Support Program, which will provide guidance and training to schools looking to strengthen or create their college advising office. Our panelists will be: Jennie Niles, Deputy Mayor for Education, Washington, DC – As Deputy Mayor for Education, Ms. Niles is responsible for developing and implementing the…

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Cooke College Scholarship

Scholar Semifinalist for Cooke College Scholarship

CDI is proud to announce that Class of 2017 Scholar Heven Haile is a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Cooke College Scholarship, that nation’s largest scholarship. She is one of 628 semifinalists chosen from a pool of more than 5,100 applicants. CDI congratulates Heven! Money for College At CDI, we hear over and over again that the biggest barriers to our students’ success is getting money for college. Many low-income, first-generation students are intimidated by the cost of college and assume that a community college or state school are their only options. In truth, small private colleges are often more…

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Simple Steps Help Students Get to College

Barriers to a College Education We wanted to share a great article with you! The New York Times article “Text Your Way to College” talks about both the barriers to a four-year college education and some simple ways to knock those barriers down. It highlights the fact that many low-income, first-generation students don’t know how to access money for college. And even if they do receive financial aid, they are less likely to make it to campus. They can be derailed by many other challenges – including the complexities of signing up for housing, registering for classes, and filing other paperwork. Text Your…

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CDI Receives Grant: Supporting Education

Collegiate Directions, Inc. is proud to announce that we have received a grant from the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families, part of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. One of 46 Nonprofits CDI is honored to be one of just 46 nonprofits to receive a grant from the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families. These grants offer support in the areas of stable homes and families, foster care and adoption, and academic and career success. The Fund received over 270 proposals for the grants, totaling around $13 million in funding requests. CDI will receive $50,000 in support of…

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Scholar Rundell Douglas graduates from Boston College.

First-Generation Student Soars at Boston College

Like many first-generation, low-income students, Rundell Douglas believed that college might be out of reach for him. He excelled at math and science, and dreamed of studying medicine and returning to his native Guyana to improve their health care system. But he had only heard of Ivy League schools and worried about the cost of a college education. Then he became a CDI Scholar. CDI walked Rundell through the college process, helping him prepare for tests, research colleges, complete applications, and apply for financial aid. Ultimately, he attended Boston College, where he majored in biology and served as a RA. Today, he is…

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Photo of Jackie

Jackie’s Story: On My Way to Realizing My Dreams

Twenty years ago, my grandfather came to the United States from El Salvador, followed soon after by my father. Growing up I heard that I was so lucky to be in America, to have this wonderful privilege, and that it was expected that I would do great things – that I would go to college and break the cycle of struggle and low-paying jobs. More than anything, I wanted to make my family proud. But as I entered high school, I realized the only colleges I knew anything about were the Ivy Leagues. I was so lost. I was lucky…

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