Julia Henry

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has recently announced a formal partnership with Matriculate, a nonprofit organization started by Yale graduates that helps low-income students apply to top colleges by connecting them with student advisers.

The new relationship will build upon the Admissions Office’s previous collaboration with the nonprofit, when the office aided Matriculate in coordinating with Yale students to establish a chapter of advisers, according to Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn ’07. Starting this spring, the Admissions Office will provide awards each semester for current students to serve as virtual mentors for applicants, communicating through video chat, instant messaging and document and screen sharing.

“Our vision is that one day all the best students in America will have access to the best colleges, regardless of their socioeconomic status or background, which will give them a unique opportunity to change the trajectory of their own lives and the lives of their families,” said Madeline Kerner ’97, CEO and co-founder of Matriculate.

Yale is one of seven colleges partnering with Matriculate this year. Other partners include Columbia, Princeton, Williams College and Howard University.

Each advising fellow will be paired with up to four applicants, offering advice on topics ranging from building a balanced college list to writing application essays and applying for financial aid. The organization employs more than 200 advisers and is aiming to target more than 800 high school juniors.

Kerner said that as a part of the partnership agreement, Yale admissions officers will lead regular professional development sessions for Yale students serving as Matriculate advising fellows in order to provide expertise and insights into the college admissions process.

Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said he was excited about the opportunity for Yale students to assist high school juniors and seniors who may otherwise lack access to personalized college counseling.

“No matter where these talented high school students enroll in college, the experience of working closely with a Yale student through the application process will pay dividends throughout the student’s college career,” Quinlan said.

According to Kerner, each advising fellow will receive a minimum of 14 hours of training before connecting with their high school mentees. In total, the fellows will undergo over 50 hours of training over the course of their time in the organization.

Kerner stressed that the adviser’s personal interactions with high school students is meant to help “shatter low-income high achievers’ college perception gap.”

There are several other student groups on campus that work with low-income college applicants but that are not partnered with the Admissions Office. For example, many Dwight Hall-affiliated organizations, especially those within the education and social justice networks such as New Haven REACH and Ready Set Launch, work with underserved student communities on their college applications, according to Dwight Hall Senior Co-Coordinator Anthony D’Ambrosio ’18.

“Providing better and broader access to the admissions process for high-achieving prospective students strengthens the University at large and, as a result, the Dwight Hall community,” D’Ambrosio said.