Who Are We?
Advance! was founded in 2002 in response to the glaring need for comprehensive college counseling, especially for first-generation students who have historically been underrepresented on our college and university campuses. The crisis is highlighted by a California Department of Education report (2010) that the high school student-to-counselor ratio is 1:945, double the national average.

 “Helping students from the community gain access to higher education.”

Advance! provides equity of access to college for students from the growing number of low-to-moderate income families where there is no prior experience with college and where English might not be the first language in the home. Advance! seeks to level the playing field for these students.  

What Do We Do?

  • Offer one-on-one assistance, free of charge, with (1) admissions applications, (2) financial aid applications, (3) preparation for SAT, and (4) with the admissions essay required by UC’s and many private colleges and universities;
  • Conduct “La Habra Goes to College”, an annual event that attracts hundreds of families to the city’s community center where they learn how to apply to college, how to prepare for college, and how to pay for college;
  •  Participate in community  “College Nights”, attended by representatives from more than 70 colleges and universities from throughout the United States;
  •  Lead workshops for parents and students at local high schools and middle schools, at Boys and Girls Clubs, for parent and community groups in churches, public libraries and community centers throughout the area;
  • Assist students and their parents with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in the Advance! office during regular office hours and on two Saturdays in February at the local Boys and Girls Clubs;
  • Annually award between 13 and 17 scholarships, some of which are funded by former families of students who attended local schools and who now want to assist others who are less fortunate.