Written by: Gregg Cohen, President and Founder of Campus Bound
Ever since I started Campus Bound over 20 years ago, I have been passionate about helping people navigate and decipher the complicated financial aid process. Assisting families with various ways to make college costs more manageable has always been a meaningful part of my job.
The reality is that the people who need the support the most, often aren’t able to access it. I wanted to bring equity to the opportunity to attend college by expanding access to qualified financial aid assistance.
For these reasons and more, I am excited to tell you about College Affordable, a newly formed non-profit dedicated to helping students and their families access grants and scholarships, minimize burdensome debt, and increase college opportunities. Along with some key partners, we are officially launching the organization following receipt of our IRS 501(c)3 designation as a public charity. Services are primarily delivered in partnership with high schools and community organizations at no cost to families. Businesses and philanthropists are stepping up to support the mission.
This journey has been years in the making. Inspired by a goal to keep my mother’s legacy of philanthropy alive, Campus Bound started helping students from the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and continuing with other non-profits starting in 2017. This eventually led to us developing a scalable program in the financial aid area that was launched with a small high school in Central Massachusetts in 2020. The results from the pilot work and the financial aid awards that students received were inspiring. Since then, we have added 6 additional high schools throughout the greater Boston area with a variety of school demographics.
As 2022 began, we realized that we could expand access and funding to help more students if we delivered these services as an independent non-profit entity- this became College Affordable. It took over a year to navigate the complex process, but we successfully received the IRS approval and have assembled a great Board of Directors including leaders in business, the higher education industry, educators, students and those with non-profit experience. The entity is completely separate from Campus Bound, which will continue to run as it always has.
The pilot program has demonstrated impressive results. Through webinars, workshops, access to advice from qualified financial aid experts, and in-depth assistance with form completion, appeals, loans, and more we have seen people minimize their student loans and attend colleges that they would have otherwise had to forgo. Both low income families and those ‘in the middle’ who don’t qualify for aid but face financial pressure from college tuition have benefitted. To date, students have collectively received over $1 million dollars in grants and scholarships! We know that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The sponsorships and donations allow families to access the billions of dollars that are available from the government, colleges, and third-party providers. The financial return on donations has been exponential as it has garnered better financial aid packages and lower interest loans.
College Affordable strives to make quality college financial education and hands-on support available to every student in Massachusetts who is hoping to attend college. This won’t happen overnight, but with a great deal of work and support, we can make this goal a reality.
For more information about our mission, to get involved, or to support our service, please visit us on our website, College Affordable, or check out this short video introduction. We also share updates on social media, so be sure to follow/like us- Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
We appreciate your support!