Become a college coach and support students on their college journeys
What is a College Coach?
A college coach provides critical guidance to high school students during the college application and financial aid process. Our student-centered approach emphasizes the guidance and advocacy of college coaches who supports students in making informed decisions based on their needs and preferences. As part of the college application process, coaches build rapport and meaningful relationships with their students.
In this role, you will help students:
- Explore college options and find colleges that are a match and fit
- Develop and edit personal statements
- Fill out financial aid applications
- Review financial aid award letters
- Make final college decision based on available options
- Search and apply to scholarships
- Stay organized during the application process
- Resolve college and application issues
- Work with students via phone, text message, email, and video calls
The benefits of coaching
1:1 Individualized Support To A Student
For many of our students, this is the first time they are discussing college options with a trusted adult. With the guidance and advocacy of college coaches, students can apply to best-fit match colleges based on their personal needs and academic interests.
Be A Part Of A Global Volunteer Community
Our volunteers are based all over the U.S. and in other countries. Connect with volunteers from industries such as healthcare, education, social services, finance, college counseling, art, media, law, and much more.
Monthly Professional Development
We offer monthly ongoing webinars and training to support our coaches’ growth and learning in the college access and financial aid fields.
Online Resources And Support
Our college coaches have access to a range of online resources including a private College Coach LinkedIn group and an exclusive online resource page. Each college coach is assigned a ScholarMatch staff to support them while they work with their students.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for the ScholarMatch program?
- We serve first-generation students from low-income backgrounds who are in their junior or senior year of high school. For students who are interested in our program and don’t meet the eligibility criteria, we will consider admitting them based on program capacity.
How do students and families hear about the ScholarMatch program?
- We conduct outreach and information sessions at high schools and community-based organizations with a need for our services. Many of our students hear about us via word of mouth from a teacher or alumni of our program.
Are families involved in the program?
- Our students’ families are welcome to get involved in our program, but it is not required. For instance, some parents or guardians prefer to be included in conversations about financial aid or during the college decision period.
How often do coaches meet with students?
- On average, our volunteers meet with students about twice a month during the course of the year. Summer and fall are the busiest periods, however, students can meet with their coaches more or less depending on their needs.
Apply to be a College Coach!
Application Deadline and Timeline
- MARCH 1: Application Opens
- MARCH 31: Application Closes
- Selected Volunteers will receive an email notifying them of their status within two weeks of submitting their application
- APRIL-MAY: Training and Onboarding Period
- MAY 31: Deadline to submit all onboarding requirements
- JUNE: Coach Orientation Session on Zoom; will be recorded and posted to coach resource page
- JULY/AUGUST: Match with a student and begin coaching until June 2024
Apply to become a college coach: Submit your application
We are interested in volunteers who have an understanding and/or experience working with first-generation students from low-income backgrounds, are able to establish rapport and advocate for students with varying levels of motivation, efficacy, and have an equity-minded approach with a willingness to learn and grow.
- Hold a bachelor’s degree
- Complete and successfully pass our sequence of online trainings
- Pass a criminal background check
- Commit to supporting between 1-3 students, averaging 4-6 total hours per month, or as needed, between July 2023 and June 2024
- Coaches do not need any prior college access experience to apply to volunteer with our program.
Selected volunteers will be required to:
- Complete and pass five online introductory training modules
- Pass a background check
- Complete a Coach Profile
- Complete an onboarding module
Please review our Pre-Training College FAQ. Coaches who successfully complete our onboarding process will move on to the final phase to be matched with a student.
What college coaches are saying
“It’s been a privilege to work with the students I’ve been paired with through ScholarMatch. I’m in awe of how they have juggled home, school, and work commitments with their college research and planning for their future. I’ve cheered from the sidelines as their hard work translated to college acceptances, and to see their excitement as their efforts are rewarded has been incredible.”
– Kathryn A.
“Having been a first-generation and low-income student myself, I fully understand the barriers many of these students face. The admissions process and the higher education system in itself can be frustrating, especially for first-generation students. The wonderful work ScholarMatch does for the community of first-generation students immediately drew me to become a college coach. As a college coach, I find it incredibly rewarding to connect with students and be part of their college journeys.”
– Nora R.
“I’m so grateful to be a volunteer coach with ScholarMatch, and to have the privilege of guiding its students through the college process. ScholarMatch has paired me with such motivated and talented first-generation students who needed further help in figuring out how to apply to college. My ScholarMatch students in previous years aspired to pursue careers in veterinary science, social justice, and nursing, and my student this year will be applying to study studio art. Thank you to ScholarMatch for providing coaches with the opportunity to support students during this momentous journey in their lives!”
– Yvonne E.