Finding the Right Match

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Program Works to Get Low-income Students into More Selective Colleges
Rashid’s job is to turn that kind of thinking around.When students at Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School visit Alysha Rashid for advice on which college to attend, often – for reasons of affordability and wanting to stay close to home – they don’t think of leaving the city.

She does so as a college advisor for College Match, a new counseling initiative being implemented on a one-year basis in New York City by the social policy and research organization MDRC.

The College Match initiative seeks to combat “undermatch,” a term used to describe when high-performing students from low-income families settle for less selective colleges than the ones they are academically qualified to attend. Higher education experts say academically capable students who go to less-selective colleges end up hurting their chances of graduation, since graduation rates are lower at less selective colleges.

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