Educational Institutions

ACCESS (Action Center for College Educational Services and Scholarship Foundation)

  • Boston, MA
  • http://www.uaspire.org

This organization has not appeared on the IRS Business Master File in a number of months. It may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Mission Statement

uAspire works to ensure that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to - and through - a postsecondary education. To accomplish this mission, uAspire places financial aid advisors inside high schools and community organizations to provide free financial aid advice and advocacy to all the students of Boston, Springfield and Lawrence - and soon, in Miami, FL - to help them overcome the financial barriers to higher education. Our programs work with students and their families from middle school to high school through college graduation - serving more than 11,000 students and families last year alone - to ensure that finances never get in the way of potential. In the last three years, uAspire has helped students secure more than $150 million in financial aid. Through partnerships with high schools, community organizations and local universities, uAspire has helped more than 60,000 students achieve their dream of higher education since our founding in 1985.

Main Programs

  1. High School Advising
  2. Early College Affordability Awareness (ECAA)
  3. Community Engagement Program
  4. Postsecondary Success
  5. Last Dollar Scholarships
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Boston, Springfield and Lawrence, MA

ruling year

2006

Principal Officer since 2005

Self-reported

Mr. Bob Giannino-Racine

Keywords

Self-reported

financial aid, FAFSA, scholarships, advising, college access, high school, higher education, college, pay for college

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EIN

04-3564307

 Number

3659664653

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

uAspire has undergone dramatic growth over the last three years due to the increasing need for our services and the effectiveness of our programs. The increase in tuition and fees, by more than 68% between 2001 and 2006 for Massachusetts four-year public colleges, is perhaps hardest felt by students in the Boston Public Schools, where more than 70% of the students come from families at or below the federal poverty line. This has resulted in the significant growth of our Senior Advising program over the past few years. In 2004, uAspire held 1,388 one on one advising sessions with 600 high school seniors. Last year, uAspire served more than 4,000 high school seniors in three sites across Massachusetts - Boston, Springfield and Lawrence. As a result of these advising sessions, last year uAspire helped high school seniors secure more than $85.4 million in grants, loans and scholarships. Thanks to proper management and our highly trained Advisors, for the past two years uAspire has been able to show a return on investment of $62 in financial aid secured for every $1 invested in the program. uAspire's financial aid advising services have already had a remarkable effect on the students of Boston. uAspire completed a survey with the help of the National Student Clearinghouse of 250 Boston students from the Class of 2000 who participated in the uAspire Senior Advising Program and received an uAspire Last Dollar Scholarship and found that 75% graduated from a two or four year college within seven years. This number is remarkable given the report released by Northeastern University and the Private Industry Counsel, funded by the Boston Foundation, which indicated that only 35.5% of the graduates from the Boston Public Schools Class of 2000 who enrolled in college had earned a two-year or four-year post-secondary degree or certificate within the same time period.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

High School Advising

uAspire's financial aid Advisors offer one-on-one advising to high school seniors and guide students through the process, from initial intake to review of the financial aid award letter. Support includes: an initial conversation with students to understand their situation and educational goals; assistance completing the FAFSA; and review of financial aid award letters. Advisors also host workshops for students to help build awareness of the financial aid process.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$987,000.00

Program 2

Early College Affordability Awareness (ECAA)

uAspire began the Early College Affordability Awareness program (ECAA) in 2009 with the goal of providing direct advising and workshops to students in Boston high schools as early as the 9th grade. With continued reinforcement of the importance to start preparing for college early, students will have more time and opportunities to plan ahead for their education once they reach senior year. Components include: 9th - Students learn about the positive benefits of investing in college; the connection between academics, extracurricular activities and financial aid; and an understanding of the financial aid process. 10th - Students learn about the different types of financial aid; the difference between the ""sticker price"" and the actual cost of a college education; and the different types of colleges. 11th - Students learn about how different choices can help make college more affordable; the need for a ""financial safety"" school; and the basics of a financial aid award letter.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$200,000.00

Program 3

Community Engagement Program

uAspire has developed partnerships with more than 20 community-based organizations, including Artists for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of Boston, College Bound Dorchester and Year Up. These partnerships allow uAspire Advisors to build capacity within the community to increase awareness of how to make a college education affordable. The Community Engagement Program enables uAspire to do the following: Collaborate with each community partner to design a plan of activities and goals to best meet the needs of the young people and families they serve Build the capacity of partner organizations to reinforce financial aid messages through staff training and ongoing support Depending on uAspire capacity and services requested, some organization choose to cost-share partnerships

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$324,000.00

Program 4

Postsecondary Success

uAspire is a participating organization in The Boston Foundation's Success Boston initiative. The initiative was launched in November 2008 after a report found that only 35% of Boston Public Schools high school graduates from the Class of 2000 earned a college degree within seven years of graduation. uAspire's role in this groundbreaking initiative is to provide students and their families with financial aid guidance, as well as convene meetings of the participating organizations and collect and manage student data.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$300,000.00

Program 5

Last Dollar Scholarships

uAspire provides direct scholarships to students with the greatest amount of unmet financial need upon completion of a full year of advising in their senior year of high school. Scholarships average $1,000 per student and are renewable for six years. This amount often means the difference between a student being able to attend the college of their choice or not attending. 40% of BPS Valedictorians have applied for our Last Dollar Scholarship.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$310,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Boston, Springfield and Lawrence, MA

Funding Needs

uAspire's organizational needs include: * Strategic Planning - development and implementation of growth strategy to serve more students and families in the coming years, both inside and outside Massachusetts * Evaluation - streamline data capturing to better measure impact and inform new methods to support students through their pursuit of a college degree * Systems - creating the systems capacity (i.e. Salesforce) to support a growing, multi-site organization * Technology - utilize technology so that financial aid Advisors can most effectively serve students in all high schools and community organizations where we operate * Fundraising - building strong relationships with both national funders and local funders in new cities where uAspire seeks to launch our programming, and continue to build relationships with funders/donors locally in Massachusetts

Accreditations

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

ACTION CENTER FOR COLLEGE EDUCATIONAL SERVICES AND SCHOLARSHIPS FOUNDATION
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

ACCESS (Action Center for College Educational Services and Scholarship Foundation)

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Mr. Bob Giannino-Racine

BIO

Bob Giannino-Racine is the Executive Director of uAspire, the leading provider of financial aid advising in Massachusetts. Bob has 16 years of experience within the Boston nonprofit community. Prior to joining uAspire, he served as the Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations at Jumpstart for Young Children, a Boston-based national nonprofit organization that engages college-aged young people in service. While at Jumpstart, Bob held several senior level management positions, including three years as Executive Director of Jumpstart Boston, where he oversaw a threefold increase in the organization's impact on the City's children. Bob's previous experience includes being involved in the start-up of a number of other successful nonprofit ventures, and a stint in the for-profit sector with Procter and Gamble. As a product of the Somerville Public Schools and a graduate of Harvard College, Bob knows first hand the need for high quality advising services and the role that financial aid, in particular scholarship support, plays in making a difference in one's life. In addition to his work with uAspire, Bob serves on the Board of Directors of idealist.org - the leading nonprofit career internet site - and Social Capital Inc., is a member of the Selection Committee for the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration, and has served as an advisor to the Institute for School/Community Collaboration. A member of the Boston Study Group, a panel of business, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders from across Boston who meet monthly to examine pressing issues facing the city, Bob was Co-Chair of the Education Convening for The Boston Foundation's 2006 Boston Indicators Project, a biennial gathering of Boston's educational leaders, and recently served as a member of EdVestors Educational Review Panel. Bob also serves an Alumni Interviewer for Harvard. Bob resides with his family in Dorchester, MA

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Alexander Packard

Iora Health

Term: July 2012 - June 2013

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?