Washington University in St. Louis is committed to making higher education more accessible to first generation students.

To help talented high school students from our own region succeed at college, Washington University launched the College Prep Program (CPP) in 2014. The CPP is a no-cost, three-year immersive learning experience that serves to successfully prepare first-generation college students for college life and beyond. Participation includes year-round academic and enrichment support, with the highlight being a Summer Academy experience that combines college preparation workshops, undergraduate coursework for credit, and activities centered on personal awareness and development. Graduates of the program leave ready to excel, both academically and socially, with CPP continuing to provide scholars with programming opportunities, college visits, and on-going individualized support.

The College Prep Program employs Washington University graduate and undergraduate students as administrative and programmatic support for scholars during the Summer Academy and Academic Year sessions. Alumni CPP scholars who are enrolled in colleges and universities across the country are also able to serve as staff members.

The program is free, and there is no cost to the scholar or family.

The goal of the Washington University College Prep Program is to prepare scholars for success at a college or university that best matches their interest and needs. Application to Washington University is not required, and admission to Washington University is not guaranteed.

CPP is an essential part of why I will get into the college of my dreams. They pushed me to be the best scholar that I can be. The College Prep Program has shaped my future for the better. It prepared me for college in ways I hadn’t thought of before. Compared to the rest of my friends, I am more ready for college than ever. All thanks to CPP!”

— Rayonna Houston, Cohort 7 Scholar, Cardinal Ritter College Prep

“CPP has gotten me to see what a college future will look like. I can see how the classes will feel, how meeting new people will look, and what other great experiences will be available. CPP means a lot. It means my college future, it means an accomplishment, and it means the pathway that will help in my college future.”

— Giovanni Corrales, Cohort 9 Scholar, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy

“I’m grateful for Washington University’s College Prep Program. My daughter’s first year was an inspiring experience and it helped to broaden her ideas of college and a career. Thank you Washington University for helping my little girl to grab hold to her dream and all the possibilities that come with it.

— Patrice Fuller, Mother of Cohort 5 Scholar

“CPP has been the resource that has opened so many doors for me. As a low income and first generation student, it had been hard to find opportunities as I grew up, but with CPP I have learned that I can do so much with my life. CPP means so much to me because CPP unlocked the doors to my future. They opened doors which I never thought would open, and for this I am truly grateful.

— Ashley Matamoros, Cohort 7 Scholar, Hancock High School

“CPP has been an experience like no other! It’s so much more than just bragging rights or college application materials. This program holds all the ‘secrets’ about college and how to get there successfully. It’s about making like-minded friends and feeling like you are on top of the world.”

— Madison Puckett, Cohort 8 Scholar, Hancock High School

CPP to me means being open minded to new experiences and accepting a new mindset going into a new part of your life. This program has opened my eyes to different aspects of life and business that I didn’t expect to like as much as I did.”

— Elijah Flenoid, Cohort 9 Scholar, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy