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Kaplan Educational Foundation Launches The Transfer Initiative Program

In September 2017, the Kaplan Educational Foundation launched the Transfer Initiative Program which aims to increase access to selective colleges and universities for high-achieving community college students of color who are interested in transferring to complete their bachelor's degrees. KEF will provide funding to cover the following costs: transcript fees, financial aid application fees (CSS Profile), ACT/SAT testing fees, and writing instruction.
As two-year schools are looking to create pathways for their students to successfully attain bachelor's degrees, four-year schools are looking for talented students who can help them meet their diversity goals. That’s where the Kaplan Educational Foundation comes into play.  
The Kaplan program helps high-potential, lower-income and under-represented Black and Latino community college students reach their educational and career goals by helping them complete their associate’s degrees and transfer to top U.S. colleges and universities such as Brown, Stanford and Cornell.  
“For most low-income students, the path to a college degree starts at the door of the local community college,” explains Nancy Lee Sanchez, Executive Director of the Kaplan Educational Foundation. “Dishearteningly, only 10 percent of these students successfully transfer to four-year colleges and earn bachelor’s degrees. There is clearly an enormous amount of potential caught in the gap between community colleges and four-year schools.”
Free resources on college transfer, financial aid, and reducing transfer costs are available here for download. 
As the founding Director of Academic Advisement and Student Development, Sanchez was responsible for the design and implementation of the Kaplan Leadership Program (KLP) model. KLP's community college to four-year advisement model focuses on developing the whole student while preparing them for a lifetime of personal, financial, and socially conscious professional leadership. 
All Kaplan Leadership Scholars are provided with academic advising, transfer admissions, career counseling and job placement support, and admissions guidance for graduate and professional programs. The KLP’s curriculum was developed to target the academic, financial and personal/social development of its participants reflecting our belief that the whole student must be addressed to effect long-term success.  
Rachel Chambers, currently a senior at Emory University in Atlanta, is one of the 24 active Kaplan Leadership Scholars in the program. Graduating valedictorian from LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York, Rachel transferred to Emory University on a full ride. We spoke with her about her educational journey.
Rachel Chambers transferred from community college and is now a senior at Emory University.
Tell us a little bit about your current studies and your plans after Emory. 
I am currently a senior at Emory University with a Human Health major and Ethics Minor. I am interested in going into health policy and as such would like to go to graduate school for a dual degree in MBA and MPH. After graduation, I plan to take a year or two off to work, travel more and focus on my graduate applications. I am currently in the process of final job options from different companies. 
How has the Kaplan Educational Foundation helped you achieve your educational dreams?
Kaplan has helped me to dream big. As a community college student, I never thought I would be able to apply to top tier universities and do so on a full ride. They gave me a support system, an extended family, opportunities and challenges to strive through. They provided me with financial support and ensured I knew my worth and intellectual capabilities to thrive in any situation I found myself in. They allowed me to truly figure out what I was interested in and what my true calling in life was, and how it is I can achieve these things. They have added to my foundation in a way that I could not have imagined, and because of them I continue to dream big and trust myself and the process. 
What advice would you give a student considering a community college versus a four-year university?
I am all for community colleges. It is a great stepping stone to begin your educational career on a budget and you gain a different experience than you would from most four year universities. Being an advocate for free community college, I can speak firsthand about how those institutions have helped me, but also helped other students. I would say to enjoy the experience, learn as much as you can and know your community college experience and your own ambitions can prepare you well to transfer to a 4-year university of your choosing. You are capable of achieving your dreams and working at the same pace if not higher than four year students.
More more information about the Kaplan Educational Foundation, please visit
Mary Anne Lane

Mary Anne serves as the Education Project Manager at GPB, where she develops digital content and resources for educators and students. A native Georgian, Mary Anne graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Georgia earning her Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, with concentrations in Language Arts and... more