We empower students to reach their goals

The CDI Scholars Program gives high school students the chance to create a life of opportunity.

Collegiate Directions has developed a smart, effective model of outreach for first-generation, low-income students who aspire to graduate from college.

Using a multi-faceted approach that includes mentoring, tutoring, counseling, and family support, we spend more than six years with Scholars, providing the guidance and expertise needed for successful graduation. The current Scholars Program provides a wealth of assistance and fosters a great deal of academic collaboration including:

Support for Students and Families

  • Weekly sessions on study skills and standardized test preparation
  • Writing workshops and assistance with college essays and applications
  • Targeted visits to college campuses and meetings with college representatives in the CDI office
  • Cultural and service events
  • Tailored college lists created with each student and family
  • Curriculum planning
  • Testing and college application fees subsidized as needed
  • Assistance with applying for and negotiating financial aid
  • Ongoing support and leadership training provided throughout college
  • Post-graduate guidance

Partnership with High Schools and Community Programs

  • Partnering with high schools in the CDI Scholar application process
  • Communication with high schools to coordinate student support throughout the college admissions process
  • Collaboration with partnering high schools and community programs to promote college access and success for underrepresented students


Collaboration with Colleges

  • Connections created between students and colleges of interest
  • Visits arranged on campus and in the CDI office with college representatives at targeted schools
  • Supplemental counselor letters of recommendation provided
  • Communication with appropriate college representatives to ensure ongoing support for students, from matriculation through graduation



97% of our Scholars will complete college in six years—most will do so in four.


Our Scholars have been accepted at more than 230 selective colleges and universities across the country.


Our Scholars receive an average of $33,000 in grants and scholarships for their freshman year.


SUMMER – 10th grade

  • Orientation activities
  • Summer reading workshop
  • Skill development sessions
  • Junior year curriculum planning

FALL – 11th grade

  • Skill development sessions
  • Weekly test preparation for all appropriate standardized tests

SPRING – 11th grade

  • Continuation of weekly test preparation for all appropriate standardized tests
  • Senior year curriculum planning
  • Skill development sessions

SUMMER – 11th grade

  • Continuation of weekly test preparation for all appropriate standardized tests
  • Writing workshops
  • Family conferences to discuss individual interests and strengths, and create tailored college lists
  • Completion of the Common Application
  • Visits with college representatives both on campus and in the CDI office

FALL – 12th grade

  • Subsidized testing, application, and financial aid application fees (if waivers are unavailable)
  • Weekly appointments with Scholars to check on progress
  • Interview preparation
  • Continued college visits and meetings with admissions officers
  • Individual, supplemental CDI Scholar counselor recommendation letters and assistance with submission of all required and supplemental college application materials

WINTER – 12th grade

  • Assistance with completion and submission of financial aid documents (FAFSA, CSS Profile, and institutional forms) and, where needed, with associated fees
  • Assistance with appropriate mid-year updates to colleges

SPRING – 12th grade

  • Assistance with review of admission offers, negotiation of financial aid offers, and final college choice
  • Visits to Scholars’ top choice college(s)
  • Preparation of all final documents needed for college enrollment


  • Summer workshops for students and parents on the transition to college
  • Monthly check-ins on academic, financial, and social well-being
  • Yearly assistance with college curriculum planning and reapplying for financial aid
  • Internship and career development advising
  • Letters of recommendation for jobs, internships, and academic programs
  • Career and graduate school planning and guidance with applications and interviews

Note: CDI counseling and support activities are conducted with appropriate, on-going communication with our Scholars’ high schools.

You have the power to change lives.

Donations to the CDI Scholars Program are what make these opportunities possible.

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