January 15, 2014 – College Summit Students Promote College App Map at White House Datapalooza

White HouseCollege Summit student, Fahim Muhammad highlights the benefits of the College App Map to Jamienne Studley, Acting Under Secretary of Education at the Datapalooza sponsored by the White House and DOE. The event was organized to spur innovators to build products, services, and apps to advance post-secondary education. The College App Map and the apps it contains were highlighted in a presentation by College Summit co-founder, Keith Frome and then demoed later in the day by College Summit students. Representatives of College Knowledge Challenge winning organizations, College Abacus, Tractus Insight, Get Schooled, Logrado, and Possibility U were also on hand to highlight the benefits of their products in helping students get to and through college.

October 22, 2013 – CKC Awards Supplemental Grants to 6 App Teams

Congratulations to the six supplemental grant winners for the College Knowledge Challenge.  Supplemental grants in amounts ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 were given to six app teams to further enhance and market their CKC apps.  The winners of the grants are:

  • Grad Guru (Grad Gears)
  • Zombie College (Get Schooled)
  • College Abacus
  • What’s Your Road? (Roadtrip Nation)
  • Raise (Raise Labs)
  • Logrado

Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal for a supplemental grant.  We look forward to continuing to support all CKC teams in order to bring these great products to the most possible students.


October 2, 2013 – College Knowledge Challenge Apps Launch to the Public

_MG_8842Today, College Summit launched 19 new online and mobile apps for students to get to and through college. The apps released are the winners of the College Knowledge Challenge, a $2.5 million investment funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by Facebook and the King Center Charter School. All app teams came together at Roadtrip Nation to celebrate their product launch and generate market excitement to promote adoption. www.collegeappmap.org was also launched at the event to make it easy for students, parents and educators to find and utilize the apps.

Congratulations to all of the College Knowledge Challenge winners, and thanks for delivering such fantastic products to help achieve their dreams of college!

April 9, 2013 – College Summit Students Compete in HackEd 2.0 at Facebook to Create Their Own College-Going App

5 high school and college students work as a team to create college-going tech supports, because nobody understands the college access challenges faced by students more than the students themselves. Emily Dalton-Smith from the Gates Foundation calls them “the team to beat”.

February 21, 2013 – Grant Winners, Sponsors and Experts Come Together at Mozilla To Kick Off App Development

Representatives from the 20 winning organizations came together at Mozilla with sponsors, funders and field experts to create a community of support for the next 6 months of app development. User centric design was a theme running throughout the event with Rich Crandall encouraging Design Thinking and College Summit high school peer leaders and college students giving real time feedback on app ideas. The College Knowledge Challenge is funded by the Gates Foundation and supported by Facebook, College Summit and the King Center to highlight the most creative and engaging apps to help students get to and through college. Thanks to all participants for a successful first step in the creation of a cohesive sector of ed tech support for all college going students.

January 23, 2013 – Congratulations to the 20 Winners of the College Knowledge Challenge!

Today, we’re proud to announce the 20 winners of the College Knowledge Challenge.  Congratulations to all of our winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal.  The Challenge received a very large number of proposals, and only a small percentage made it through to a grant award of up to $100,000 each.

Through multiple rounds of judging, these apps and the organizations that will build them, rose to the top.  Our judges were deeply impressed by the depth and breadth of their solutions for college access and success, and we all look forward to the very positive impact these apps will have once they are launched in September of this year.

Please join us in congratulating our winners!

  • Applyful – Applyful
  • Beyond12 – Coach Me
  • Cambium Enterprises – PossibilityU
  • Center for Student Opportunity – I’m First
  • College Abacus – College Abacus
  • ConnectEDU – CareerConnect
  • Get Schooled – Zombie College
  • GradGears – GradBadge
  • Logrado – Mission Control Center
  • Michigan State University – College Connect
  • Nerd Wallet – The FAFSA Community
  • New York University – WOOP
  • Raise Labs – Raise
  • Roadtrip Nation – What’s Your Road?
  • TerraSquare & 10,000 Degrees – Degree’d
  • The College Board – CollegeGo
  • The College People – Collegezen
  • Tractus Education – Tractus Fit
  • Transfer Bootcamp – Transfer Bootcamp
  • Unigo – Fast Forward

November 19, 2012 – Thanks to Everyone Who Submitted an Application to the College Knowledge Challenge!

Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal by Friday’s November 16th deadline. We’ve received creative ideas from all over the country, and we really look forward to reviewing them. Our expert judges from the Gates Foundation, College Summit, Facebook and the King Center will be reviewing all applications in the coming weeks and will announce winners on January 23.

Thanks again to everyone who participated, and we can’t wait to see who wins in January!

November 15, 2012 – Proposal deadline coming up at midnight PST, November 16

2 more days until the deadline for proposals in the College Knowledge Challenge. Deadline time has been updated to midnight PST on November 16 to accommodate additional submissions.

We’ll be granting $2.5 million to 20-30 organizations in amounts of up to $100K, and we look forward to seeing your creative digital apps for supporting students in getting to and through college.

We continue to get very creative and exciting proposals from across the country. Thanks again for all of your interest in the College Knowledge Challenge!

Facebook and College Apps: Make an Educated Guess.

Today, there are few college access, persistence, or financial aid apps on Facebook. So how do you know what works? To help develop your App idea, it would help to understand both the academic research and design research on how low-income and first generation teens actually use the internet, social media, and digital devices; and, how they would use these platforms as part of their college journey.

How do teens and college students use Facebook?
Many studies have been done about how teens communicatetoday . The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published data on how American Teens behave on-line and found that:
80% of teens under 18 are on social media networks, and
77% of teens have mobile phones
23% of teens from 12-17 have a smartphone.
But does this data apply to the College Knowledge Challenge target audience – low-income and first generation college-goers? You might have to talk to people on the ground to find out. In a recent College Summit blog, Oakland teacher Kateri Dodds Simpson said, “In my personal experience, group emails are often ignored or unread, and many students don’t have working cell phones. But if I need to get in touch with a student, I can get a Facebook response within days, if not minutes.”

How does social media influence college aspiration and success?
Some ways of leveraging social networks may be more powerful than others. Dr. Nicole Ellison has performed research on the impact of social media on college aspiration and preliminarily found that:
Especially for first-generation students, having access to a broader network of people via social media who could actively answer questions and provide information support was important in knowing how to apply for college.
For perceptions of college success, however, it was not about having people available to answer questions, but rather having more “role models” in their social media network.

What’s your hypothesis?
Applicants to the CKC will need to develop a hypothesis about social how media and Facebook can catalyze college access and success for these students. Students from College Summit Northern California partner high schools and college students will advise the winning developers and help put your ideas to the test.

To learn more about developing a hypothesis, see The Lean Startup methodology. We will have a future blog on this topic.

All Proposals Must Be Submitted By Friday 11/16

The Friday 11/16 deadline for submitting proposals is fast approaching.  If you have any questions about your submission, please contact info@collegeknowledgechallenge.org.

11/6 Webinar – College Access & Persistence Research and Q&A

Thanks to everyone who attended our second live webinar on Tuesday 11/6. A review by Dr. Keith Frome of the most up-to-date research on college access and persistence was followed by a question and answer session with Keith and Sean Murray on the College Knowledge Challenge. The recording is posted at:http://www.collegeknowledgechallenge.org/about/ under College Knowledge 101.

Webinar on 10/22: The 3 Roadblocks to Getting to and Through College

Please join us on Monday, October 22 at 3:00 eastern time for our first webinar entitled: The College Knowledge Challenge and the 3 Roadblocks to Getting to and Through College.

Join College Summit education experts, Dr. Keith Frome, Dr. Jean Snell and Dr. Bryce Jacobs as they walk through the current college access landscape for low income communities and discuss solutions for addressing the key issues students face in their quest to get to and through college. This informative discussion is designed to help development teams submit proposals for apps that will provide real value and have big impact for students.

Webinar signup information will be sent this week to anyone who has registered at http://www.collegeknowledgechallenge.org/login/. Register today.

SLC – Managing Student Progress Using Data

See below for a great posting in today’s EdSurge about the Shared Learning Collaborative, an initiative to gather student data in a common database to allow for easy tracking and management.  We know tracking and management is key to student progress in accessing and staying in college.  The SLC makes it easier for app developers to gather and utilize student data while effectively managing privacy.

EdSurge 10/10/12 – BOUNTY HUNTIN’: It takes a village to bring down a beast. And so the Shared Learning Collaborative (SLC) has been running “codeathons” and “tagathons” to bring together developers, teachers, and designers to tackle the gargantuan project (best laid out by Frank Catalano here) that includes testing APIs and sample code and tagging content for the Learning Registry. Read about the Chicago and Boston camps; upcoming ones are scheduled for New York (10/20-21), and Denver (11/17-18). Each session offers cash prizes for good ideas and working prototypes, in addition to food and drinks. In addition, the SLC has a couple of $75K bounties available for developers who can create “Student Data Aggregation Calculators” and “Student Grouping Tools.” But act fast–proposal deadlines are due October 16.

Working Together

It’s so great to see College Summit peer leaders and college students working side by side with all these creative hacker development teams at Facebook. It really helps everyone get the user perspective, so we can get a much better outcome. College Summit students will participate in the College Knowledge Challenge throughout to help teams develop apps that have the most impact.

College Summit Students take on HackED

The most important people in the room today at the HackED Gates/Facebook/College Summit/King Center Charter School hackathon might be the six students from College Summit. These high school and college students – Fernando Cuevas, Alma Armenta, Lily Dinh, Francisco Ramirez, Jessica Inson, Abbas Khalid, Emmanuel Fortune -represent the millions of potential users of the apps developed today and through the College Knowledge Challenge.

The morning started with a series of presentations from Gates, College Summit and Facebook. When asked what her hopes for for the day, Jessica hopes “they’ll create something visual, something interesting, something that’s fun for the students, very educational, and gives them actual college knowledge.”

Our students then moved on to be a “coach” to the many teams. Lily described experience advising hackers: “My mindset – I was thinking about myself on my smartphone, laptop using the app and gave my thoughts to the developers and they lit up. Being a part of this, knowing I could help these people help others is an amazing feeling.”

The hackathon continues for another four hours. Is it enough time to build something that actual gives them college knowledge? Jessica thinks “they are going to have a challenge getting the perspective of a student that really doesn’t have a figure in their life to look upon for college stuff, they have absolutely nobody in their family that has gone to college. How is your app going to help them? How are they going to hit a first generation student?”

Apps for the New Economy

I’m looking forward to seeing apps developed that help youth be resilient in the new economy.

Facebook Hackathon Coming Up

Facebook Hackathon coming up on Thursday 9/27 to launch the College Knowledge Challenge highlighted on CNN.com at http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/23/ahead-of-the-curve-the-next-7-days-100/

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