MISSION

Advance! provides equity of access to college for students from low-to-moderate income families with no prior experience with college. Advance! seeks to level the playing field for these students and families. The parents of these students are included in the college preparation process. All services are FREE of CHARGE.

HISTORY

Advance! was founded in 2002 in response to the glaring need for comprehensive college counseling, especially for first generation college students who have been historically underrepresented on our college and university campuses. Its first year, Advance! helped 51 students and now serves over 800 per year. With the counselor-to-student ratio in California high schools at 1:1016 (Orange County Register, 1/20/15) the need for Advance! is greater than ever.

WHAT WE DO

  • annually host the “La Habra Goes to College” community event that draws over 500 students and parents
  • help students and parents complete the daunting college admissions and financial aid applications
  • participate in local "College Nights", attended by representatives from more than 70 colleges and
           universities 
    throughout the United States
  • conduct college admissions and financial aid workshops
  • keep a comprehensive tracking system to follow-up with students who have been served

OUR OPPORTUNITY

Advance! opened in 2002, largely to assist first-generation college goers with their college admissions and financial aid applications. Our expectation back then was that if we could open a college counseling center somewhere in the city, away from the schools, open late in the day and into evening, and not charge for services, people would find us and start showing up. Needless to say, for more than 3,500 students later, that expectation has been realized.


Early in every school year, we conduct "La Habra Goes to College", an event for students and parents to introduce them to the college preparation process. Families that attend are then invited to come to our office to begin the work of applying for admissions and financial aid.


Advance! is grateful to the city of La Habra for co-hosting this one-of-a-kind event that, since 2005, has attracted more than 5,500 people.


A study by UC Berkeley researchers titled "Return on Investment: Educational Choices and Demographic Change in California's Future" found that for every dollar spent increasing the number of students attending college and completing degrees, the state gains three dollars in net return on that investment.  We can invest in our young people and encourage them to attend college.  They will return with their college degrees, occupy higher-paying jobs, pay more in taxes, own homes, raise families and otherwise contribute positively to our society.