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The College Connection Program at Philadelphia Futures guides students who have a demonstrated academic foundation through the college application, admissions and financial aid processes and actively supports their progress through college completion. We begin working with students in 11th grade and continue to support students through college completion. Each year, we seek to admit 55 new scholars into the College Connection program. We are excited to learn more about you through the application process and look forward to supporting you on your journey to college success.  

To be eligible for the College Connection program, you must:

  • Be in the 10th grade.
  • Live in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Attend a public, public charter, or parochial high school in the School District of Philadelphia.
  • Be a first-generation-to-college student. This means that the student does NOT live with a parent(s)/guardian(s) that has graduated from a college or university in the United States with a bachelor's degree. 
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Meet family income guidelines. In our commitment to serve low-income students, we reference the standards set by the federal government for free or reduced lunch. The federal guidelines provide a recommended income limit based on family size. The income guidelines are listed below and individual applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Number in Household ............ Annual Earned Income

2 ......... $33,820 

3 ......... $42,660 

4 ......... $51,500 

5 ......... $60,340 

6 ......... $69,180

7 ......... $78,020

8 ......... $86,860

To gain admission to the College Connection program, students must complete a competitive application process. The application review process for College Connection applicants is holistic. This means that we will carefully consider all parts of your application before making an admission decision. 

The three-round process requires academic information and test scores, writing responses, biographical information, information on extracurricular activities, family financial information, and a family interview for finalists.

First Round: Determining Eligibility | Due March 1, 2020

During this round, we capture biographical information about the applicant, such as demographic and contact information. 

Second Round: Submitting Additional Materials | Due March 20, 2020

During this round, applicants submit required admission documents, including:

  • High school transcript,
  • One recommendation letter from a teacher in a core subject area (i.e. English, history, math, science, or foreign language),
  • Proof of household income (copy of family’s most recent federal IRS 1040 Tax Return and evidence of any family benefits),
  • Citizenship documents (copy of the applicant’s social security card or permanent resident card), if applicable,
  • PSAT Scores, and
  • Three writing responses (250 words or less)

You will need a parent/guardian to help you complete the second round application.

Final Round: Interview and Skill Review | April - May 2020

During the third and final round, applicants are required to  complete an interview with a Philadelphia Futures staff member, volunteer or alumni. We are seeking to learn about students, their academic aspirations, and why they are a good fit for our program.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: The email you use to register your Submittable account is the email address we will use to communicate with you.  Please double check spelling to ensure you receive all Philadelphia Futures correspondence.


  • If you have questions about the application process, please contact Outreach and Engagement Administrator, Michael Deleon at (215) 790-1666 ext. 425, or email him at michaeldeleon@philadelphiafutures.org.
  • If you have any technical questions or need technical assistance in completing your online submission, please reach out to support@submittable.com.
We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.