The Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars (Top Scholars) program recently completed its annual college tour trip, which this year took students to top colleges in Pennsylvania and New York. Students visited Lehigh University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Fordham University, and Columbia University, as well as historical and national landmarks, such as the Apollo Theater.

The Top Scholars program is an initiative, funded by The Cleveland Foundation, which seeks to match the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s highest-achieving students with their “best-fit” postsecondary option. An intrusive advising approach is employed, as a College Now advisor works with students one-on-one and in groups to determine a student’s academic, financial, social and environmental needs and find the higher education institutions that will meet those needs and set the students up for success on their campuses. Since beginning in 2011, the Cleveland Foundation College Now Scholars program has significantly increased not only the selectivity of schools students are enrolling in but also the amount of financial aid they are receiving to put toward their education.