College and Career Readiness


About College Readiness

The Office of College and Career Readiness works efficiently to prepare our students for postsecondary education success.  We provide avenues that are geared toward stimulating a thirst for education in our students and assist them to seek out resources and opportunities. 

Our office encourages, promotes and facilitates:

  • PSAT for all 9th, 10th & 11th graders
  • SAT and ACT test taking for all 11th and 12th graders
  • FREE prep course for PSAT/SAT using PrepMe for all District high school students accessed through Naviance Family Connection on StudentNet. 
  • Professional development for high school counseling staff as it relates to college and career access and preparation
  • City-wide college fairs such as Historically Black College and University Fair, PASSHE Joint Recruitment Fair, Performing and Visual Arts College Fair and The Philadelphia National College Fair 

About Career Readiness


The Office of College and Career Readiness encourages our students to take advantage of the Career and Technical Education programs that are provided throughout the city in our public high schools.  There are 41 programs to choose from that can lead to certification in specific fields that will prepare our learners for postsecondary educational opportunities such as college, university, trade school or apprenticeship programs. 

Many of these CTE programs also lead to summer and school year internships in the industry while the student is still in high school.


College Preparation Info

Are you ready for life after high school?


The Office of College and Career Readiness encourages all learners to begin the process early.  You can not wait until your senior year in high school.

The School District of Philadelphia as well as the City of Philadelphia has an array of programs, services and resources to assist with college and career searches, financial aid, scholarships as well as information on how to figure out what you want to do if you are still unsure of your future goals.

Naviance is now offered to District students grades 6-12.  Naviance is an online college and career platform that allows students to create a plan for their futures by helping them discover their individual strengths and learning styles and explore college and career options based on their results.

You should also check out the Related Resources list on the left side of this webpage for valuable information and resources to assist you with your choices.

College Access Programs in Philadelphia


There are many college access programs thruout the City of Philadelphia that provide an array services to students that need assistance with things such as searching for colleges, assistance with the financial aid process, SAT preparation and even additional rigorous coursework that will prepare students for college.  Some of the programs are listed below.  Click on the link to access more information about the programs.

GEAR UP - Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at selected middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. Please click on the link for a list of schools that provide these services.

Let's Get Ready - Let's Get Ready provides low-income high school students with free SAT preparation, admissions counseling and other support services needed to gain admission to and graduate from college. Services are provided by volunteer college students who also serve as role models and mentors.

Philadelphia Futures - Philadelphia Futures is a nonprofit organization that provides Philadelphia’s low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college.  Philadelphia Futures also provides high schools with the Step Up To College Guide which is the premier college guidance resource for high school students and their families.

Philadelphia Education Fund (PEF) - The College Access Program at PEF can help you get READY, get SET and GO to college!  They provide services to students at the following high schools: Kensington Creating & Performing Arts HS, Paul Robeson HS, John Bartram HS, Roxborough HS and Olney Charter School.

Steppingstones Scholars - Steppingstone Scholars, works with families and school partners, to provide rigorous educational programming and support for talented underserved students in the Philadelphia Region to achieve academic success, opportunity, and a college degree.  Their services are currently being provided at the following schools: McMichael Promise Academy, Dunbar Promise Academy and Tanner Duckrey School.

The Free Library of Philadelphia Passport To College - This college prep program offers workshops during the school year at  library branches and/or partner locations. Workshops will take students step-by-step through the college prep completion process.

TRIO Upward Bound Program - The goal of TRIO Upward Bound is to increase college enrollment and graduation rates for students from low-income households or from homes where neither parent has earned a bachelor's degree. The program provides academic support, emotional encouragement and assistance with the college application and financial aid process as a means of overcoming social barriers to higher education.  In order to apply, you must be entering 9th or 10th grade at one of the following high schools: Benjamin Franklin, Edison-Fareira, South Philadelphia or West Philadelphia.

Upward Bound at the University of Pennsylvania - The University of Pennsylvania High School Upward Bound Program is a college preparatory program designed to motivate and prepare students in the program for the successful pursuit of a four-year college education. The goal of the program is to increase the rate at which low-income, first-generation-to-college students enroll in and graduate from a college or university with a bachelor's degree.  In order to apply for this program you must be entering the 9th or 10th grade at one of the following schools: Overbrook HS, Parkway-West HS, Sayre HS and West Philadelphia HS.

Upward Bound at Temple University - The Temple University Upward Bound Program will prepare Philadelphia Public and Charter High School students for admission to institutions for higher learning and success in the collegiate environment through intense academic enrichment, a summer college immersion experience, enhanced cognitive and critical thinking, and extensive interpersonal development through positive social interactions. Applicants must be current 8th, 9th or 10th grade students attending a Philadelphia public or charter high school.

Upward Bound at Lincoln University - Upward Bound is a pre-college, federally funded program for first generation, low income high school students.  Its purpose is to provide students with the academic support necessary to successfully complete high school and enroll in post-secondary education. In order to apply for this program you must be entering the 9th or 10th grade at one of the following schools: John Bartram HS, South Philadelphia HS and Universal Audenried Charter HS.

Upward Bound at Harcum College -  The Harcum College Upward Bound Program is designed to help program participants overcome the educational, cultural and social barriers of society, and works to build and enhance the skills and motivation needed to enter and complete post-secondary education. In order to apply for this program you must be a student at one of the following schools: John Bartram HS, Motivation HS and Communications and Technology HS.

Parent Resources


Post Secondary Education is an investment.  Going to college is very expensive and tuition prices tend to go up every year.  Below are some resources that might be able to help with this major investment in your son or daugther.

There are a variety of ways to help pay for college which include Federal Student Aid, Scholarships, Loans and Savings.  Please click on the links below for additional information.