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Haas Center for Public Service and Stanford Digital Education Partner with Matriculate to Empower High-Achieving, Low-Income Students

The Haas Center and Stanford Digital Education partner with Matriculate to support high-achieving, low-income high school students with college preparation and applications

The Haas Center for Public Service and Stanford Digital Education are thrilled to announce a partnership with Matriculate, a leading national organization dedicated to fostering higher education opportunities for high-achieving, low-income high school juniors and seniors. This collaboration aims to bridge the gap in college access and provide essential support to students as they navigate the college application process. 

Matriculate connects promising high school students with dedicated undergraduate advisors, known as advising fellows, who offer virtual mentorship over an 18-month period. Under the guidance of advising fellows, eligible high school students from across the United States, whose family income is less than $80,000 and who possess a GPA of 3.5 or higher, receive personalized guidance, resources, and tools to help them successfully navigate the college application journey.

Stanford's involvement with Matriculate dates back to the 2017-18 academic year, when students organized a Stanford chapter. Stanford will now be a Signature Partner, investing in the Matriculate organization as well as providing support for the undergraduates participating as advising fellows. The head advising fellows will also become Education Partnership fellows at the Haas Center. 

"Our collaboration with Matriculate aligns perfectly with our dedication to equity in education and our belief in the power of mentorship,” said Yi-Ching Ong, executive director of the Haas Center for Public Service. “We hope this partnership creates pathways to opportunity for these promising young people, while also offering Stanford students a meaningful service experience.”

Matriculate’s advising fellows, drawn from Stanford and other universities across the country, undergo specialized training to provide comprehensive support to their mentees. This partnership not only offers high school students invaluable guidance, but also empowers undergraduate mentors by enhancing their leadership, organizational, and communication skills.

Last year, an impressive 99% of high school students enrolled in four-year colleges after participating in Matriculate's program. Over one hundred current Stanford students have participated in the program as high school students. The results speak to the transformative power of mentorship and guidance in the college application process.

Claudia Sung, ’26, is Stanford’s head advising fellow for the class of 2025 cohort. Claudia got involved in Matriculate because of her own background as a low-income student. “I’ve met so many high-achieving students who would’ve benefitted from a program like Matriculate when they were in high school,” said Claudia. “Many FLI [first-generation, low-income] students have the potential and drive to succeed at a place like Stanford, but not everyone has equal knowledge on how to demonstrate that on their application.”

Head advising fellow for the class of 2024 cohort Christopher Badillo, ’25, agrees. “I was particularly fortunate to have a support system by my side—I had a college counselor through a community-based organization who provided me feedback, and my mother would spend time to help me revise my essays. Ultimately, I think that this is the gap that Matriculate fills; not everyone has that same support system around them.”

Stanford’s sponsorship of its Matriculate chapter also opens the door for a new way to connect with high school students. This school year, Stanford mentors will have the option to be paired with high school students who are enrolled in courses offered by Stanford Digital Education and the nonprofit National Education Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab).

Since September 2021, some 1,000 students at high schools in low-income neighborhoods have enrolled in five Stanford Digital Education courses through the Ed Equity Lab. Going forward, high school students who participate in this program will be eligible to have a Stanford Matriculate mentor, as opposed to coming through the traditional Matriculate pipeline.

The new approach will allow students to develop a deeper connection to Stanford and become more confident about attending Stanford or another selective university. They will have experienced what it’s like to get credits from a Stanford course, and they will have regular contact with a Stanford student who will help to make college less of an intimidating experience.

“To build more equitable pathways, selective colleges need to ensure low-income students are able to thrive on multiple dimensions,” said Matthew Rascoff, vice provost for digital education. “My hope is that coordinated assistance from Matriculate, the Ed Equity Lab, and Stanford will have a multiplier effect that supports students academically and as whole people who need to feel they belong.”

Research has shown that the majority of high-achieving, low-income students do not apply to selective schools which they are qualified to attend. The collaboration between Matriculate, the Haas Center, and Stanford Digital Education can help change that.

“Matriculate helps to encourage low-income students to apply to Stanford and makes sure that they are well prepared for the admissions process,” said Stanford Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw. “The results have been very positive: Matriculate students comprise a significant percentage of the low-income students who are accepted and come to Stanford. We definitely want more students at Stanford to become mentors so that we can get even larger numbers of applicants from Matriculate.”

Incoming Provost Jenny S. Martinez added, "Boosting the numbers of low-income high school students who go on to places like Stanford is really important. It's terrific to see the impact that mentorship by Stanford students can have, and I'm delighted the university can support these efforts."

The partnership between the Haas Center, Stanford Digital Education, and Matriculate exemplifies the collective commitment to creating a more equitable future in higher education. By empowering and guiding high-achieving, low-income students on their journey to college, this collaboration has the potential to transform lives and shape the landscape of educational opportunity.

About the Haas Center for Public Service

Since 1985, the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University has been connecting Stanford students with opportunities to serve communities locally, nationally, and around the world. It administers Cardinal Service, a university-wide effort to make service an essential feature of a Stanford education. The Haas Center connects academic study with community and public service to strengthen communities and develop effective public leaders. The Center aspires to develop aware, engaged, and thoughtful citizens who contribute to the realization of a more just and sustainable world.

About Stanford Digital Education

Stanford Digital Education leads the development of Stanford’s online and hybrid education strategies and strengthens Stanford’s capacity to carry them out. Also known as the Office of the Vice Provost for Digital Education, it incubates and supports mission-driven digital education initiatives, while also serving as the entry point for groups outside the university wishing to partner on such efforts. By marshaling Stanford’s human and technological capabilities in new ways, Stanford Digital Education seeks to build a more just, equitable, and accessible system of higher education.

About Matriculate

Matriculate is a national organization dedicated to empowering high-achieving, low-income high school students in their pursuit of higher education. Through its innovative mentorship model, Matriculate connects these students with trained undergraduate advisors, equipping them with the resources, guidance, and support necessary to navigate the college application process and achieve their academic dreams.

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