In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Jump to page content Jump to navigation

College Board

Homepage Home > College Guidance > Access to Opportunity

Access to Opportunity

More Opportunities for More Students

One of our most critical education goals is to make sure students from low-income backgrounds are on equal footing with their higher-income peers in terms of (1) college options; (2) attention paid to the application process; and (3) graduation rates.


Access to Opportunity™

A set of targeted initiatives designed to identify and break down barriers that prevent students — particularly low-income college-ready students — from applying to and enrolling in colleges that best fit their academic credentials and where they can succeed and thrive.

  • 82% of the nation’s high-achieving students from low-income households do not apply to a single school that meets their academic qualifications.

Apply to 4™ provides resources to mobilize school counselors and help them deliver opportunity to all college-ready students — especially low-income and minority students — by ensuring that they apply to four or more colleges that meet their academic ability and that fit them best.

  • 40% more likely
    Applying to two colleges instead of one makes it 40% more likely that a student will enroll in a four-year college. Applying to more than two makes their chances of enrolling even better.



Encourage students to apply to four or more colleges.
  • 1 SAFETY Where students’ admission credentials exceed those of the most recently admitted freshman class.

  • 2 GOOD FITS Where students’ admission credentials are equivalent to those of the most recently admitted freshman class.

  • 1 REACH Where the institution’s average admission criteria for admitted students far exceeds the student’s admission credentials.

Apply to 4 or More Resources

View the 10 Things Effective Counselors Do to Help Students Apply to 4 or More Colleges flyer (447Kb), which includes links to valuable resources.

To contact us, please email

Join Us for Upcoming Webinars





It's Financial Aid Season: Ready, Set, Go!

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

1 p.m. — 2 p.m. EST


College Admission 101 for Sophomores, Juniors, and Parents

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

1 p.m. — 2 p.m. EST


You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone: Transitioning Students from High School To College

Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014

1 p.m. — 2 p.m. EST


Building Leadership Skills in College and Career Readiness Counseling

Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014

1 p.m. — 2 p.m. EST


School Counselors & College Access Providers: Partnership Power

Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2014

1 p.m. — 2 p.m. EST


Customized Entry Pages


Take a look inside the College Board's College Counseling Sourcebook (pdf/736K), 7th Edition, which contains advice and strategies from experienced school counselors.

The College Board Resource Guide: Ensuring College Readiness for All Students (pdf/4.4M)
A comprehensive guide to our key programs, resources, conferences, and more — for K–12 educators and students.

A quick reference guide (pdf/780K) to critical dates and programs of the College Board.

Back to top