Key Points

This article highlights Get2College, a program by the Woodward Hines Education Foundation that provide financial aid counseling to Mississippi high school students, and outlines a study that assessed efforts to scale the FAFSA completion initiative to increase the number of students statewide who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Get2College’s approach to scaling involved a partnership with the state’s rurally based community colleges and leveraged their established support networks to expand its outreach to the state’s often underserved students and increase FAFSA completion rates among that population.

In rural states like Mississippi, underresourced groups are sometimes left behind when quantitative scaling strategies involve a more cost-effective focus on areas with a concentrated population. As foundations seek to support nonprofits with scaling their initiatives, they should consider models appropriate to each context. A key question to consider when choosing an approach should always be: Who might be excluded?

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