BigFuture Virtual Advising
ScholarMatch Partners with BigFuture to Provide Virtual College Application Advising Services
BigFuture and ScholarMatch
Welcome! ScholarMatch is partnering with BigFuture at the College Board to provide college planning and application support to students in the Class of 2025! Through holistic college advising, ScholarMatch supports students throughout the entire college application process.
BigFuture is a free, comprehensive set of digital resources that helps all students take a productive first step after high school. Create a free account to get access to resources that help you plan for college, pay for college, and explore careers. Visit BigFuture today!
ScholarMatch provides first-generation students from low-income backgrounds with holistic and individualized virtual college advising. Through a one-year term, our college coaches build meaningful relationships with students and provide critical guidance during the college application and financial aid process.
Students work with college coaches via phone, text message, email, and video calls to work on the following:
- Explore college options
- Develop and edit personal statements
- Fill out financial aid applications
- Review financial aid award letters
- Search and apply for scholarships
- Clarify any college application issues
ScholarMatch also offers free ACT/SAT virtual tutoring and free virtual A.P. classes.
Program Eligibility and Requirements
We carefully review applications to our program and consider personal circumstances for students who do not meet all of our eligibility criteria.
To be eligible to apply to our program students must:
- Identify as a first-generation college student
- A first-generation college student is defined as a student who grew up in a household without a parent or guardian who completed a four-year college degree
- Meet our income eligibility guidelines
- Families earning less than $90,000 annually can qualify for our services through a referral from BigFuture
- Have a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Have a College Board account
- Live in the U.S.
Since our program is fully virtual, we expect our students to communicate and meet their coaches at least once a month once they are admitted into our program.
- Commit to meeting once a month or as needed with their college coach
- Be comfortable with communicating via Zoom, phone, email, and/or texting
- Communicate and follow through with their college coach within 2-3 days
How to Apply
- Ensure you meet our minimum eligibility requirements listed above
- Complete and submit an application comprised of demographic information and short questions
If accepted, sign and submit our student and parent agreement that will be sent to you via email along with further instructions.
February 26: Applications Open
April 30: Priority Coach Matching Deadline: The deadline to receive coaching support in the spring. Otherwise, students can apply by our regular deadline of September 15.
September 15: Final Deadline
April-September: Student Onboarding
Thank you for your interest in our program! Our application deadline has passed. If you are still interested in receiving support we encourage you to apply to our virtual drop-in program here.
If you are a Class of 2025 student please submit this contact form so we can be in touch when the application opens early next year.
BigFuture participants have access to the following:
- Workshops and events: We offer online workshops and events to help students complete our program steps.
- Tutoring and classes: We offer tutoring support for SAT/ACT and academic classes in partnership with AJ Tutoring and a limited number of scholarships to take California A-G required courses with UC Scout.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the application process?
Students are required to submit an application to our program and meet our eligibility requirements to be considered. Program acceptance isn’t guaranteed. After applications are reviewed, students will complete an online student and parent program agreement and watch a short video about our program. These are the three required steps that need to be completed before students can be paired up with a college coach.
How can a student figure out their family’s income?
If a student is unsure about their family’s income, we encourage them to ask their parents/guardians to confirm their annual family income. They can find this information in completed tax forms. If they haven’t filed taxes, a student can use their family’s W-2 statements or any other method used to keep track of their income.
How do students and coaches get paired up?
We match students to coaches based on students’ application information and matching preferences, such as timezone, hobbies, college majors, and desired industry. We approach matching holistically by considering many factors; our goal is to pair students with coaches who will be a good fit.
How many times do students have to meet with their coaches? What are the expectations in working with a college coach?
Our students meet with their coaches an average of 15 times during the program year. The busiest times are summer and fall, during which time we anticipate students and coaches meeting several times a month. During the winter and spring of the senior year, students typically meet with their coaches around 3-5 times per season.
What type of colleges do students apply to?
We recommend that students apply to colleges that are a financial, academic, and personal fit, so it varies based on their needs and preferences. Some students apply to more highly selective institutions, while others apply to regional schools because they want to stay closer to home.
I’m a student and I already have an idea of where I want to go to college, should I still apply?
Yes! Our coaches can still advise you and guide you through many other aspects of the college application process, including building your college lists to ensure you have a good mix of schools, so come decision time, you have many options to consider. In addition, you will also receive support on financial aid applications, personal statements, college offers, and more.
What if I am receiving support from another organization?
You are more than welcome to apply to our program, however, we find that students who are not receiving support from multiple organizations benefit the most from the one-on-one support that ScholarMatch provides.
What is the duration of the program? Are there any student expectations?
Our program runs from mid-April (junior year) to June (senior year), depending on when a student joins our program. We expect that students meet virtually with their coaches at least once a month or as needed via text, email, Zoom, phone calls, etc. We also expect students to communicate and follow through with their coaches in a timely manner.
What our Students are Saying
“ScholarMatch has allowed me to dream bigger and realize that I can pursue higher education without financial debt. My mentor is like one of my friends. She truly cares about me, we have engaging conversations, and we don’t just talk about only college applications. She’s helped me through so much, and she says it’s been a journey watching me grow this past year with the time we’ve spent together.”
– Vicky V., Class of 2022
“The ScholarMatch program has been a HUGE resource in helping me apply to college. (Big shout out to my ScholarMatch Advisor Nancy for everything she has done for me, including helping me to write essays, apply for scholarships, and prepare for interviews!!) ScholarMatch has provided me with many resources and information to know which college is my best fit. Because of the immense support I received, I will be going to Johns Hopkins University this upcoming fall! A fun fact about myself is that I love to watch pop culture analysis videos on YouTube.”
– Iheoma A., Class of 2022
“As a first-gen low-income student, I had no clue how to start applying for college. Upon meeting with my ScholarMatch coach, Amber, she transformed my fear into confidence and assurance that I would be able to accomplish my goals. Words can’t adequately express my gratitude for her role in my college application process, I don’t think I would have reached this point without her wisdom and dedication to my success!”
– Eden A., Class of 2022
“My college coach, Paul, has helped me find the right schools, guided me through the application process, and helped me secure enough aid to keep me debt-free. He’s been very kind, available, and never hesitates to lend some guidance. I’m positive I wouldn’t be where I am now without his help and the ScholarMatch program!”
– Steven R., Class of 2022
Check out our calendar to learn more about our online workshops and information sessions.
Meet The Team
DC Programming Lead - Min-Ling
Meet The Team
Director of College Access - Lisa
Meet The Team
Volunteer Program Manager - Paola
Meet The Team
Program Associate - Dominic
Meet The Team
Program Associate - Nora