College Bound

College Bound provides promising students from under-resourced backgrounds with the academic enrichment, social support and life skills needed to succeed in college and careers. Their program begins at the end of freshman year of high school—and continues through college graduation and beyond. In the 2016-2017 academic year, 641 students will participate in College Bound programming.

College Bound has had a strong record of success in helping promising low-income, first-generation students get into and graduate from college.  College Bound is one of the top performing college access and success programs in the nation.

  • 99% of College Bound’s students have graduated from high school compared to only 68% of St. Louis Public School students and 53% of low-income students living in cities.
  • 94% of College Bound students have matriculated to college immediately after high school, compared to 66% of St. Louis Public School graduates and only 51% of low-income graduates nationwide.
  • 88% of College Bound students have re-enrolled for their sophomore year, and 82% have re-enrolled for their junior year. By comparison, fewer than 50% of low-income students nationally re-enroll for their junior year and just 11% of low-income first generation students graduate within six years.
  • In 2014, College Bound collegians graduated at five times the rate of their low-income, first-generation peers, and above the rate of students with family incomes of $100,000+.

Most of College Bound programs are provided by a team of 23 AmeriCorps Coaches— recent college graduates who serve as both teachers and mentors. A large part of their cost is covered by AmeriCorps; the Tilles Foundation’s investment allows us to fill a much-needed gap.

Even with the support of the AmeriCorps Coaching team, some students face additional hurdles that require wraparound services. For that reason, College Bound enlisted a full-time, on-site, masters-level licensed counselor—or Wellness Coach. Investment from the Tilles Foundation allows the Wellness Coach to provide individual and group therapy, student, staff and family consultations, staff trainings, classroom support and crisis telephone support. College Bound is one of only a handful of college access program nationwide with an on-site therapist.  

For more information on College Bound, please visit