Over 34 years, Access has helped provide an opportunity for 77,000 students to receive a college education and make a difference.

The Access College Foundation is committed to the betterment of our students and to providing them with the tools necessary to be successful in their educational endeavors. Our goal is to ensure they are able to make informed decisions about postsecondary education and to provide academic, financial, and personal support while pursuing a certification or degree in trade school or in college. Access uses a collaboration of both financial and advisory resources to help students realize their dream of becoming a higher education  graduate with workforce entry success.

Our Mission

“We provide educational pathways leading to certification or college degree attainment and career opportunities for students, particularly those who may not otherwise have access.”

Our Vision

“We will give every desiring student the opportunity to enrich their lives and our communities through training and education beyond high school.”


The full range of programs and services offered by Access are available free of charge to public school students and parents in South Hampton Roads and Northampton County, Virginia:

High School Program

The Access 9th & 10th Grade Program is available in 21 of our 30 high schools and assists 9th and 10th graders with developing a personal educational plan to keep themselves on track for high school graduation; while increasing their knowledge and aspirations for postsecondary education. In addition, Access provides workshops for students, introducing them to “The Four A’s” to access a path to success. Explicitly, the importance of maintaining good Attendance, discovering one’s Attitude towards life, achieving Academic excellence, and propelling postsecondary educational planning into Action.

The Access High School Program also guides 11th and 12th grade students in 30 public high schools through the complicated application and admission pipeline to increase the number of students who enroll in postsecondary institutions. Access Advisors also help students leverage the financial aid and scholarship funds needed to pursue a degree or certification program. Additionally, qualifying students in grades 11 and 12 receive fee waivers for ACT, SAT, and AP tests and college applications. This program also offers college tours so that students can explore their options. Finally, Access awards Access “Last-Dollar” Scholarships to graduating seniors to bridge the gap between the total financial aid received by a family and the final cost of attending a postsecondary institution.

Early College Awareness Program

The Access Early College Awareness Program succeeds in giving 7th and 8th graders a head start in understanding the necessary steps involved in attaining a postsecondary degree by providing workshops and advising sessions on topics that include but are not limited to future goals, career choices, educational opportunities after high school, financial aid literacy, and how to connect education to career. Student and parent participation in early college awareness activities foster a better understanding of the value, steps, and resources available in attaining a postsecondary education.

Access “Last-Dollar” Scholarships

To bridge the gap between the amount of financial aid received and the actual cost of attending college, our foundation awards need-based Access “Last-Dollar” Scholarships to high school students who are pursuing postsecondary education. The Access “Last-Dollar” Scholarship application is made available to students in the spring of each school year. Please see your Access Advisor for an application or check back to our website for updates!

College and Career Success Program

The Access College and Career Success Program is made available to all Access Scholars. College and Career Success Advisors visit thirteen college campuses across Virginia: George Mason University, Longwood University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Regent University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Virginia Wesleyan University, and the four campuses of Tidewater Community College. Advisors serve scholars both on campus and virtually for those that attend other schools. Access Scholars benefit from the support services of their College and Career Success Advisor through FAFSA filing, meeting students one-on-one and group counseling, acting as a liaison with college departments and advocating for their educational, mental, and personal needs.

The College and Career Success Advisors also assist our junior and senior Scholars with various career development tools to help improve the odds that they will receive an internship and full-time employment upon graduating college. The College and Career Success team also provides continuous updates that include information on interview and resume training skills, as well as hosting internship and job skills workshops with community partners.

College Tours

When students are able to visualize themselves on a college campus, they are better equipped to take on the challenge of making the grades and navigating the college application and financial aid processes. The Access College Foundation provides guided tours of a variety of colleges and universities in Virginia, both in-person and virtually, free of charge to the students Access serves. In-person tours are guided by college staff, and include motorcoach transportation, refreshments and/or meals and often provide on-site college admission sessions.

Scholarship Administration for Other Organizations and Individuals

In addition to the services and scholarships that we offer local students, Access also manages scholarship funds for other local individuals, organizations, outside agencies and businesses. Management involves publicizing the program, reviewing applicants, establishing the criteria and selecting recipients.