TERI’s mission is to increase opportunity and access to higher education for all students. In addition to our loan guarantee programs, TERI supports national, regional, and local activities that assist individuals in obtaining information and guidance about higher education opportunities. TERI also works to improve the education system to increase access to higher education for all students.

Follow the links below to find out more about TERI’s college planning services and research and policy work.

Profile of TERI College Access Services

In fulfilling its mission, TERI College Access offers comprehensive programs for individuals and organizations, which provide information, guidance and practical help that help underserved individuals to achieve their college and other post-secondary educational goals. In addition to its advisory services and school-based programs, TERI College Access leads research and policy development efforts locally and nationally, and also provides outreach services to nonprofits and businesses to provide information on college planning and financing. To learn more about TERI College Access and its programs and services, click here.

Advisory Services

TERI College Access advisors work with students and families at College Access Centers and with schools to assist individuals in planning and paying for college. Beginning in sixth grade, advisors work one-on-one with students to develop study habits and to improve academic skills. In higher grades, students are given guidance on developing career paths and choosing the schools to which they will apply. Students are also given support throughout the admission and financial aid process.

College Access Centers

At TERI College Access Centers, located in Boston, Brockton, and Chelsea, Massachusetts, education advisors provide FREE, one-on-one guidance and resources to make planning and paying for college as simple as possible. Our advisors are fluent in many foreign languages, including Spanish, Chinese, and Russian.

Guidance available at the Centers includes:

  • Assistance identifying and applying for scholarships and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Guidance on choosing prospective schools and help working through the entire application process
  • Help in choosing a major and understanding how to achieve career goals
  • Advice on debt management

Resources available at the Centers include:

  • State-of-the-art computers to locate sources of scholarships and other financial aid, research colleges and other career-building programs, and complete financial aid and admission applications
  • Guidebooks on local and national colleges
  • Books on test preparation, scholarship searching, and career planning
  • Information on General Educational Development (GED) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and technical/vocational education opportunities

Within each of the Centers, TERI College Access also manages Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC); federally funded TRIO Programs focused on providing low-income, first-generation students over the age of 18 with assistance in their pursuit of postsecondary education opportunities to help better position themselves in the job market.

School-Based Programs

TERI College Access advisors work with students in the Boston and Brockton public schools to help them prepare to succeed in college and get ready for careers. These programs are geared specifically toward students who, without guidance and encouragement, are unlikely to enroll in college or other career-building education programs, but have the potential to succeed in higher education. Advisors work with students during and after school, offering tutoring and peer mentoring services, college visits, and career and college workshops.

In addition to working directly with students, TERI College Access advisors encourage and assist families to actively participate in their child’s education. Through school-based resource centers and workshops, TERI College Access convenes and supports parent leadership groups that work with schools and community organizations to advocate for students’ well-being.


The COACH Program helps 11th and 12th graders in the Boston Public Schools make informed decisions about their future. Undergraduate and graduate school “coaches” work directly in the classroom and provide individual support and assistance to all students as they develop their postsecondary plans.

Through a partnership with 38 colleges and universities in the Boston area, the COACH network offers a website which streamlines the application and fee-waiver process for the student and offers the opportunity to research local colleges, create a student profile made available to these colleges, and apply online using a single application.

College Knowledge PREP

College Knowledge PREP engages students and their parents at participating high schools in activities to learn about college and other career opportunities and prepare for postsecondary education. The program follows students for two years, beginning in 10th grade.

Activities include academic skill-building in math and the written language. Students are exposed to career choices through visits to workplaces and presentations on site. In the second year of the program, students further explore careers that match their interests and abilities, the college selection process, and financial aid options. Parent and family workshops assist families in better understanding how to finance a college education and manage debt.


GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) promotes changes in Boston’s public schools to boost college awareness among students and parents and supports the professional development of teachers and school counselors. GEAR UP begins offering services during the seventh grade and follows students through high school.

Kids to College

Kids to College (K2C) pairs sixth-grade classrooms with colleges and universities in four Massachusetts cities (Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell) for a six-week early awareness program. K2C teaches students about careers, the connection between careers and college preparation, courses for being college-ready, academic expectations in higher education, and college life.

Think College Early

Think College Early is an online, college planning resource for elementary and middle school students, parents, counselors, teachers, and youth workers. This site provides information about the benefits of going to college and resources for parents, school staff, and others to use with students in encouraging their college aspirations and helping them begin the college planning process. Information is also available on preparing for college through academics, and how to plan ahead for the cost.

Talent Search

Talent Search assists Boston middle and high school students who meet low-income guidelines, will be the first generation in their families to attend college students, and have the potential to succeed in college. Talent Search advisors work with students ages 11 to 18, encouraging them to complete high school and continue onto college and other postsecondary education programs.

Upward Bound

Upward Bound helps Brockton High School students prepare for college by offering instruction in math, science, literature, and composition. During the summer, students live in college dormitories, gaining a better understanding of the college atmosphere while participating in academics and other skill-building activities.

Capacity Building and Policy-affecting Efforts

Through the work of the Pathways to College Network and the Boston Higher Education Partnership, TERI College Access builds the capacity of schools, organizations, and systems to improve college access through research, technical assistance, and policy-affecting efforts.

Pathways to College Network

Formed in 2001, the Pathways to College Network is a national alliance of more than 40 organizations committed to using research-based knowledge and data to improve postsecondary education access and success for the nation’s many underserved students. In February 2004, Pathways released a major report of its research findings called A Shared Agenda: A Leadership Challenge to Improve College Access and Success.

Since then, Pathways has focused its efforts in four areas: (1) encouraging schools and districts to enhance the academic rigor of the secondary school curriculum, (2) informing and improving college access marketing efforts, (3) evaluating the impact and effectiveness of early financial aid commitments, and (4) encouraging higher education leaders to invest in the success of underserved students on their campuses. In addition, Pathways continues at the forefront of research to fill the gaps in our knowledge about what works in college access and success.

TERI College Access is the managing partner of the Pathways Network.

Boston Higher Education Partnership

The Boston Higher Education Partnership (BHEP) is a consortium of 31 public and private colleges and universities and the Boston Public Schools. The BHEP facilitates higher education institutions working together and with the Boston Public Schools and the business community to promote quality teaching and learning for Boston students. The collective vision for the BHEP is to ensure that students graduate from high school academically prepared and with adequate scholarship assistance to enroll and succeed in college.

Outreach Program

TERI College Access Outreach Programs provide college planning services to organizations, corporations, and nonprofit groups. Information sessions are conducted with groups of individuals served by the organization and with its employees. TERI College Access works on site at organizations and college fairs, providing guidance on getting into and paying for college, as well as pursuing career-building opportunities.