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College Board

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Realize Your College Potential

Realize Your College Potential (RYCP) is part of ongoing research that sends packets of customized college information and college application fee waivers to high-achieving, low-income, high school seniors.

Students in receipt of this packet should visit Realize Your College Potential to receive information personalized for them. Students will also receive follow-up emails from the College Board.

Finding the Right Fit

Our goal is to enable more low-income students to enroll in a college that is a good fit for them, academically, socially, and financially. To do this, students must have the information necessary to explore the full range of college options.

Research shows that:

  • Low-income students tend to apply to fewer colleges than higher-income students with similar academic records.
  • Low-income students apply to far fewer colleges that fit their academic performance than their higher-income peers.
  • Sending customized college information directly to these students encourages them to apply to a wider array of colleges and universities.

Eligible Students

Students are chosen to receive RYCP packets based on their academic achievement and estimated income. We select students who meet both of the following criteria:

  • Top 10%–15% in their class (based on PSAT/NMSQT® and SAT® scores and GPA)
  • Bottom 33% of the income distribution (roughly $40K–$50K and below)

Income estimates are based on data from the U.S. Census and other federal sources. We do not rely on self-reported income information. Research shows this to be a reliable way to estimate income, but there may be a small number of students who are not low income and still receive RYCP packets.

The names of eligible students are not disclosed.

Inside the Packets

In addition to these materials, RYCP packets also contain several customized pieces, including a personalized cover letter, a personalized starter college list that include “safety,” “good fit,” and “reach” schools, and information on college net price. For more information on creating a college list or college net price, students can visit Big Future or the College Board's Net Price Calculator .

For More Information

Customized Entry Pages


Applying to two colleges instead of one makes it 40% more likely that students will enroll in a four-year college. When students apply to more than two, their chances of enrolling will be even better. Encourage your students to apply to at least four or more colleges – one safety, two good fits, and one reach.

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