How Fair Opportunity Project Helps Students Applying to College



Founded in 2016 by two Harvard juniors, Luke Heine and Cole Scanlon, Fair Opportunity Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help high school students who are applying for college.

From their own experience, Heine and Scanlon realized that the path to college is uneven. While some students have private admissions counselors to guide them through the application process, many others lack the support to make informed decisions.

To level the playing field, Heine and Scanlon launched their initiative to provide all students with the resources they need to apply to college and afford it. And they would do it all for free!

Together with a team of volunteers consisting of 20 college students, 250 high school counselors and advisers, they have grown Fair Opportunity Project to what it is today. 

More than 100,000 users across 204 countries have accessed its free resources, leading to a Forbes 30 under 30 award and features in the New York Times, CNBC, Thrillist, the Harvard Ed Magazine, Study Breaks Magazine and the Harvard Gazette.

Fair Opportunity Project Helps Students in Several Ways

Fair Opportunity Project’s team of college students, high school counselors and lifelong educators has created an online portal offering the following free resources:

The Guide

The Guide is an in-depth 60-page resource on the college application and financial aid process, including advice on creating a college list, obtaining recommendation letters and what students should do before applying. There is even a supplement on the ramifications of COVID-19 on college applications. 

Thirty college students, hundreds of high school counselors and nine advisers collaborated to produce the Guide, which has been accessed to date by more than 100,000 users across 204 countries. 

The Guide is updated continuously and is available for free in English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), Turkish, Arabic and Amharic.

To download the Guide, click here.

The Mentor Network 

Launched in 2019, the Mentor Network is a free mentorship program for students who need advice on college application. 

Mentors are college or graduate students from the community, who are trained to advise using all the resources Fair Opportunity Project has to offer.

Mentors meet virtually with their mentees for 2-4 hours each month over a period of 9-12 months.

To date, students in 315 communities across the world have used the program.

To find a mentor, click here.

Self-Guided Study

The organization also offers self-guided study as an alternative pathway. In addition to the Guide, this pathway consists of a virtual 1:1 office hours, live weekly info sessions and free college essay review

Students are free to use this pathway on its own or combine it with the mentorship program.

FairOpportunityX (FOX)

FairOpportunityX is a free online course launched in partnership with Harvard’s LabXchange. Students learn about every step of the college application and financial aid process from short videos created by knowledgeable advisers.

How Students Can Support Fair Opportunity Project

Students can support Fair Opportunity Project’s mission by sharing the free resources it offers with other students.

They can also volunteer their services and help out by joining the Fair Opportunity Project team, mentoring high school students and reviewing essays.

Follow Fair Opportunity Project on TUN

Students can also follow Fair Opportunity Project on TUN to get news and learn about new volunteer opportunities!

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