College Access Program


​We focus our efforts on the needs of low-income, students of color, and first generation college-goers. It is our belief that with the right supports, every student holds the potential to succeed in college and career.


Through our college access program, we seek to win the hearts and minds of students. We work to instill in them a sense of their own potential, educate them on the challenges and opportunities associated with the pursuit of a college education, and the skills needed to realize a college dream.


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Many of our college access program participants may begin their journey with us unconvinced of their own college potential, but with the hard work and support of our team of advisors, PEF is proud of the fact that the majority graduate energized and ready to pursue college and career.

What We Offer

Students engaged with our program are supported in their schools with one-on-one advising, college readiness workshops, recruiter sessions, college visits, and four signature events conducted in their freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years.

9th Grade Students

For our students, 9th grade is the time for exploration of student interests and career paths as well as initial exposure to the academic expectations and financial cost of college.

10th Grade Students

10th grade is the time to continue building exposure to and understanding of college options along with critical skills needed for college, including time management and financial literacy.

11th Grade Students

11th grade is the time for focusing on college options and application requirements, including SATs and essays.

12th Grade Students

12th grade is the time to apply, complete financial aid, assess options, make a postsecondary choice, and celebrate a hard-won achievement.

Who We Serve

We work with 9th through 12th grade students attending one of PEF’s partner schools. Not just the highest achieving students, but all who apply. If you are considering becoming a student at one of these schools, contact us to learn more about completing a College Access Program application.

PEF's Partner Schools

Benjamin Franklin High School
Frankford High School
Horace Furness High School
John Bartram High School
Kensington Health Sciences Academy
Kensington High School
Kensington High School for the Creative & Performing Arts
Martin Luther King High School
Olney Charter High School
Overbrook High School
Penn Treaty School
Roxborough High School
Samuel Fels High School
School of the Future
Thomas A. Edison High School
West Philadelphia High School

“In Pakistan, women have no voice and are denied many basic rights. I was made to feel like I was not meant to succeed in this world. The College Access Program was incredibly helpful. They had so many programs and resources, and if I needed something that they didn’t offer, they would find it for me. They helped me believe that I could dream big.”

Maria Khan
CAP Student and Philadelphia Scholar