The College Success Program is designed to provide guidance to students who enroll in commonly-attended regional colleges. College students are advised and mentored on campus for up to 6 years. The purpose of this innovative program is to ensure that students have the support they need to earn a degree. We focus on academic, financial, career, and personal challenges - the main causes of students leaving school. Students who participate in our Success Program graduate within 6 years at rates up to 43 percentage points higher than students who receive support only with college applications.

In order to help incoming freshmen to succeed in college, Bottom Line provides transitional programming each summer for our new class of soon-to-be college students. From reviewing how to read a college syllabus to talking about life on a college campus, we try to get our students ready to begin pursuing a degree. This summer transitional program is designed so students show up on campus clear of any last minute surprises and ready to learn. Our transition program includes:

  • Peer group building events with students from their college
  • Assistance with enrollment, housing, and class registration
  • Financial Aid advising
  • General problem solving

Once on campus, Bottom Line advisors provide holistic support students according to our DEAL model, designed to help students in four areas.

  • Select a suitable major
  • Assess credits to graduation and track progress
  • Interpret syllabi to succeed in class
  • Identify strategies to improve performance
  • Connect with tutoring, advising, and other resources
  • Find a career path
  • Write and update resume and cover letter
  • Connect with Bottom Line Internship partners
  • Build a unique professional "brand"
  • Secure internships and part-time jobs
  • Renew scholarships and financial aid
  • Determine how to pay balances
  • Resolve problems with bills
  • Assess loan debt
  • Make smart financial decisions
  • Stay connected through monthly campus visits and frequent calls and emails
  • Stay positive with cards and care packages
  • Stay determined to work hard and achieve goals
  • Connect students to resources
  • Cope with life circumstances

Unique Approach

Our program stands out because of our personalized, one-on-one approach, our thorough understanding of the needs of each student, and the holistic, long-term nature of our support. Advisors travel to campus to meet students where they are and serve as a constant presence in students' lives for up to 6 years. Advisors constantly learn about and assess their students and adapt their support to meet the individualized needs of each student rather than employ a one-size-fits-all approach.

How is Bottom Line’s College Success Program unique?

Bottom Line provides individualized, one-on-one support to students all the way until college graduation, meeting students in-person on campus and providing additional holistic support through a variety of methods including video chat, calls, texts, emails, and social media.

When do you start working with students?

Our Success Program begins working with students during the summer prior to a student's college enrollment.

Who is eligible for your programs?

Bottom Line focuses on students from Boston, Chicago, and New York City who are from low-income households in the first generation of their family to earn a Bachelor's degree. Additionally, students must be enrolling for the first time at one of Bottom Line's Target Colleges.

How often do you meet with students?

Students typically meet with their advisor 2-4 times in-person per semester, on campus or via video chat, though the frequency of meetings can vary depending on individual needs. Outside of meetings, advisors are available through other contact methods and engage with their students often.

Can you help my student/child?

If your student or child is eligible for our program, they may fill out an application online.

Are parents or guardians involved in your program?

Parent  involvement is not a requirement or focus of Bottom Line's programs. They may be as involved or uninvolved as they choose; however parents and guardians are typically called upon during the financial aid application process to provide important tax information.

How do students hear about your program?

Many students join the Success Program by participating in Bottom Line's College Access Program. Students may also join the program without participating in the Access Program through our Success Direct recruitment pipeline. Students typically learn about our program through word of mouth: from friends, family, classmates, and school counselors. Bottom Line staff also regularly conducts outreach activities and works directly with many other community-based organizations.