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Taking college mentorship to the next level in California

This leading college success nonprofit envisions a world in which all students have equitable opportunities to realize their potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background.

California’s leading college success nonprofit, 10,000 Degrees, envisions a world in which all students have equitable opportunities to realize their potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background.

Our program is specifically structured to help students from low-income backgrounds get to and through college. Thanks to comprehensive personal support, college advising, and financial aid management, over 80% of 10,000 Degrees four-year college students earn bachelor’s degrees.

“10,000 Degrees was there all along the way, helping me realize what was truly possible.” - Saul Peña, 10,000 Degrees Alumnus, University of San Francisco; Vice President, Dodge & Cox

As for the students we support, 100% come from low-income backgrounds, and 85% are the first in their families to go to college. In addition, unlike most other college success organizations, there is no GPA requirement for students applying to 10,000 Degrees programs.

Powered by our innovative Fellowship Program, 10,000 Degrees reaches more than 10,000 students and their families annually, including more than 2,000 colleges students. Our Fellows are recent college graduates from low-income backgrounds hired full-time to work with students from similar backgrounds.

This highly effective near-peer mentorship is the engine that drives our success and inspires our high school and college students to achieve their educational goals.

In practice, our Fellows and other support staff provide rolling financial aid workshops, on-campus office hours, cohort-building initiatives, and other outreach events — meeting students where they are, literally and figuratively.

fellow assists high school students 10,000 Degrees Fellow Kyla Burke with high school students in San Rafael, CA (Photo: 10,000 Degrees)

We also provide wrap-around personal support, offering encouragement and unwavering belief derived from our Fellows’ lived experience and cultural competency.

“10,000 Degrees changes many lives the same way it changed mine. They helped me find my passion.” - Monica Oliva-Jimenez, 10,000 Degrees Alumna, Saint Mary’s College of California; University Recruiter, Autodesk

At 10,000 Degrees, we believe education is the foundation of a just and equitable society. Students and their families, as well as schools and local leaders, play a critical role in educating the next generation and strengthening the economic vitality and social health of our communities.

On campuses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, with help from over 500 well-trained mentors and volunteers, 10,000 Degrees staff currently serve students in 27 area high schools, 34 community colleges, and over 50 four-year colleges and universities in the North Bay and across the nation.

In each of the last three years, 10,000 Degrees has awarded more than $2.5 million in annual scholarships to over 1,400 students. Through financial aid counseling and money management training, 10,000 Degrees students receive on average an additional $16,000 in non-loan aid and, in turn, take on 85% less student loan debt than their peers.

“Giving everyone a chance...to have access to education...to me, that’s an important part of changing lives.” - J-P Conte, J-P Conte Family Foundation, 10,000 Degrees supporter since 2016

At 10,000 Degrees, we believe our Fellows embody the change we want to see here in California and beyond. Thanks in part to the powerful near-peer mentorship provided by our Fellows, our college alumni are more likely to vote, more likely to volunteer, and earn over $1 million more in their lifetimes.

- story by Rich Rhodes, Director of Marketing & Communications at 10,000 Degrees

10,000 Degrees logo

The San Francisco North Bay’s leading college success nonprofit, 10,000 Degrees® helps students from low-income backgrounds get to and through college. Thanks to one-on-one personal support, academic counseling, and financial aid management, over 80% of 10,000 Degrees 4-year college students earn bachelor’s degrees. As vital members of local communities, 10,000 Degrees college alumni are more likely to vote, more likely to volunteer, and earn over $1 million more in their lifetimes.

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