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Frequently Asked Questions

Students / Parents

How many times can I visit Bridges?

We welcome you to visit us as many times as you’d like. Some students visit us once for help with a specific issue, while others come to our office repeatedly during their college application process and throughout their college years.

How much do Bridges’ services cost?

Although our services are free, we ask that students and their families help sustain the organization by making a contribution if they are able to.

The college admissions process seems overwhelming. Where do I begin?

Call us to set up an appointment. We can help break down the process into a manageable step by step plan that will addresses your unique situation.

Can Bridges help me figure out how to pay for college?

Bridges can help you apply for federal financial aid as well as local, regional and national scholarships. We can also help you identify schools that fit within a financial range that feels comfortable for you and your family. Our goal is to help you access all of the financial aid that you may be eligible for while capping the amount of debt you incur.

Do I have to be a high school student to visit Bridges?

While most of the students we work with are seniors and juniors, we are happy to help anyone who is thinking about attending or returning to college or vocational school at any point during their process.

What services do you offer?

Bridges provides comprehensive college and financial aid counseling. We educate parents and all members of our community by hosting an annual college fair, financial aid workshops, and alumni panels where college graduates speak candidly about their careers and educational journeys. Finally we partner with youth agencies, detention centers, and schools to help them meet their clients’ higher educational goals.

Donors

Why do students need college counseling services? Don’t they receive this advice at school or at home?

Our local guidance counselors are phenomenal yet they are incredibly overwhelmed. They have large caseloads and can’t spend as much time counseling students around college admissions as they would like to. Applying to college can be overwhelming and the process is ever changing. Parents often need additional support for their children, especially if students are from the first-generation in their families to attend college or vocational school.

What is your annual budget?

$130,000

How many students do you serve?

Since 1997, Bridges has served over 2,600 students and their families. On average we work with approximately 100 students during a school year (including summer). About 60% of these clients are first-generation college students.

How do students find you? Do you have a specific program that you walk people through?

We often make presentations at local schools and youth agencies. When students are ready, they call us and make an appointment. Some visit us once for help with a specific issue, while others utilize our services repeatedly during their college application process and throughout their college years.

Do you help students of all ages? Who benefits from your services?

While most of the students we work with are seniors and juniors, we are happy to help anyone who is thinking about attending or returning to college or vocational school.

Do you help students get into vocational schools?

Yes, Bridges helps students access any type of post-secondary education.

How can I contribute? What impact will my donation have?

Bridges is a 501(c)3 organization and all gifts are tax deductible. We are a small organization that does a great deal with a limited budget. Gifts of any size are greatly appreciated.

What impact does your program have?

Research confirms that disparities in college access disproportionately affect minority students and lower-income families. Bridges addresses the structural barriers facing these under-represented groups as they enter the college application process. We work with first-generation and lower-income families to ensure that college-ready students who wish to pursue higher education receive the support needed to do so. As a result, more first-generation, low-income and minority students will overcome college access barriers that historically prevent them from pursuing degrees. Students will avoid unnecessary debt and will have greater awareness of federal and local funds for which they qualify. Families will become empowered around the admissions process resulting in a multi-generational effect that will continue to impact the economic and social welfare of our community.

How much do Bridges’ services cost?

Although our services are free, we ask that students and their families help sustain the organization by making a contribution if they are able to.

What services do you offer?

Bridges provides comprehensive college and financial aid counseling. We educate parents and all members of our community by hosting an annual college fair, financial aid workshops, and alumni panels where college graduates speak candidly about their careers and educational journeys. We partner with youth agencies, detention centers, and schools to help them meet their clients’ higher educational goals.

In fall 2016 we started a plot project called College Connections, which is an early college awareness program run through Taos Middle and High School, serving grades 8-11. College Connections’ objective is to develop student knowledge of higher education options through progressive college literacy lessons, so students are aware of different types of degrees and their associated paths. We facilitate these lessons on-site, so we ensure that we reach our target population.