The Objective

To increase access and graduation rates for Marin’s low-income students through college access programming and scholarships.

The Issue

While most of Marin can boast high academic achievement levels that align with the highest quality education and supports for students, pockets of poverty persist where students from low-income households, mostly students of color, continue to demonstrate lower educational outcomes on every aspect of the college pathway, particularly notable when compared to their middle and upper income peers.   

Our Approach

The Initiative is in its eighth year of supporting a cohort of key non-profits and select public school partners with a demonstrated track record of serving low-income and students of color in Marin’s four key target school districts: Novato, San Rafael, Sausalito Marin City, and Shoreline. These partners provide college access and success services like academic counseling and tutoring, homework and test preparation help, scholarships and financial aid awareness and support, and parent-focused activities.


This initiative uses an invitation-only application process. The grant application cycle for 2018-20 is complete.  The current roster of grantees appears below.

Current Grantees

Reports & Resources




Edsource |Financial Aid is Key to The Final & Often Tough Choice of Colleges

New York Times | Nudges That Help College Students Succeed 

KQED | How Mentors & Scholarships Help Community College Students Succeed

Education Week | Groups Help Low-Income Students Enter College. A good explanation of why BFF invests in college access.

Education Week | Counselors Work to Get More Students on College Path. The importance of the role of the school counselor.

Education Week | School Counselors Boost Students' College, Financial Aid Chances, Study Finds. The impact of counseling on financial aid applications. 

Education Week | Students Report Weak Support Systems for College, Career Preparation.

The Chronicle of Higher Education | Closing The Gap For First Generation Students


Why 10,000 Degrees? (video)

Closing the Gap: 10,000 Degrees Summer Institute (video)

For questions regarding this initiative, please contact

Marcia Quiñones

Director for Education