By making college access services more convenient and accessible to the public, EIF will expand its reach and serve more students across the city of Dallas. The college application process is lengthy, somewhat complex and can be inconvenient especially if needed technology is not readily available including high-speed internet connectivity and full-sized screens and monitors. Marcia Page, President and CEO, Education is Freedom, says “Working with -Dallas Public Library,our vision is to help close the digital divide for low-income students and parents by providing technological capabilities to students’ doorsteps. We are beginning small with a pilot in three branches, but the plan is to make these services available and accessible to even more students and parents by next spring.”
“Dallas Public Library is please to collaborate with Education is Freedom. Our organizations share a common vision for helping students and parents access the resources they need to prepare for college in their own communities. Our library branches offer the ideal setting and a location that is frequently chosen for in-depth study and academics”, said Melissa Dease, Youth Services Administrator, Dallas Public Library.
Data suggests that families of middle and upper class students are able to rely on personal experiences in the college and financial aid application process. For low income and first generation students, there is a knowledge gap, which is not easily filled with simple discussions of why and how to go to college. Here in Dallas, many students and their families receive little in the way of direct assistance in the college process even though research shows that low income students place a higher value on personal interaction during the college application process. Education is Freedom has documented evidence that with even minimal direct interaction with their advisors who are versed in college options and college matching, low income students are positively impacted. The interaction is successful in influencing the breadth and type of schools to which low income students apply. Beginning next week, look for upcoming events at these branches:
Pleasant Grove Branch Library – Weekly, Wednesdays, 6-8pm, beginning November 7th.
Bachman Lake Branch Library – Every Other Week, Tuesdays, 4-6pm, beginning November 4.
Polk-Wisdom Branch Library – Every Other Week, Tuesdays, 4-6pm, beginning November 11.
In 2015, the program is expected to expand to additional locations across the city.