2021 Bridge to College Summary

Tier Explanation

Tier 1: All college intending high school graduates.
Receiving tailored, pre-programmed text message
reminders and encouragement, and over 450 first generation
students were called by counselors.

Tier 2: Students who received limited support from
one of four Bridge to College Counselors. Support
was limited to a particular area and was not ongoing
during the summer.

Tier 3: Students who responded to a text message
and required ongoing assistance from a Bridge to
College counselor to complete their application to
school during the summer.

Student Needs

Paying for School

Completing FAFSA or finding additional or alternative opportunities for funding was the top need among our students in 2021.  Most students required help with funding at the start of the 2021 program.  Bridge to College counselors supported those students with completing their FAFSA documents by the end of the program.  Those who didn’t complete this step were either found to be undocumented, planned to defer enrollment, or lost contact with their counselor and no final status was able to be confirmed.

Application & Registration

The second highest need for students was starting or finalizing their application process and registering for classes.  Students required help at multiple stages of the application the process, such as registering for orientation and class registration.  Students who did not complete their application process, deferred their application until the spring, or lost contact with their counselor and no final status was able to be confirmed.

Enrollment Rates for NCC Intending Students

Norwalk Community College (NCC) is a popular destination for students and many first-generation students within Stamford Public Schools (SPS).  With its close proximity to Stamford and NCC’s relationship with SPS and SC2C, we use the enrollment rates for students who indicate their intention to attend here as a measure of our success in helping students enter higher education.  In 2021, enrollment rates were down significantly due to COVID-19, however, students receiving support continue to enroll at NCC at higher rates than those not receiving this additional support.


What Went Well?

  • Use of text message platform. 91% of Tier 1 students added to the platform opted to receive messages all summer and 85% were satisfied with the platform (giving it a 3 out of 5 rating)
  • 92% of Tier 3 students receiving ongoing counselor support remained engaged with their counselor throughout the summer.
  • 61% of students receiving counselor support enrolled in a college according to the National Student Clearinghouse.


  • Earlier, more detailed messaging on financial aid and how to access FAFSA, PACT, and other alternative sources of funding.
  • Identifying more ways to incorporate student voice into the program during the development, implementation, and review phases.
  • Improving collaboration and coordination with NCC to ensure a smoother
    application process.

Student Feedback

“I liked that the counselors were there for you even when you’ve already graduated and help you get to your next step in education”

AITE High School Senior

“The quality of communication and dedication from the counselors!”

Westhill High School Senior

“I loved the way every one of my questions was answered and it helped me out a lot.”

Stamford High School Senior

Download the 2021 Bridge to College Summary here.