Press Release


Dollars for College: a Student Financial Planning Toolkit is a first of its kind guide designed by financial aid practitioners that provides easy, comprehensive guidelines from middle school through college. The toolkit was developed to help students and families understand all the available resources and options that can make higher education affordable.

With support from the Citi Foundation, America’s Promise Alliance and uAspire launched this interactive online financial aid tool to promote greater access to higher education. The guide also is available in a printable pdf version in English and Spanish.

“Today’s workplace increasingly demands the skills and advanced training acquired through postsecondary education,” said America’s Promise Alliance President and CEO John Gomperts.   “Through this toolkit, we want to help lower one crucial barrier to accessing higher education, and encourage more young people and their families to believe that a college degree is within reach.”

One of the GradNation goals is to encourage dramatic increases in postsecondary enrollment and graduation.  “… Over the last 10 years, more than 2.2 million academically prepared students did not attend college with the high cost of college being a major factor,”  said Bob Giannino, CEO of uAspire, a leading advisor of financial aid services and author of the toolkit. “As the first guide of its kind written by actual practitioners in the field, students and families can be confident that the advice provided has been tested and proven by a range of experts from colleges, high schools and youth-focused organizations around the country.”   

Dollars for College includes five comprehensive and easy-to-follow chapters, starting with pre-high school, ending in the college years, and includes an additional chapter for parents and caregivers.  Each chapter offers solutions to potential challenges and directs students to resources that will help them to stay on track.  The financial aid process is clearly presented in the form of a timeline to coincide with the steps that need to be taken at each grade level.   

“Building the financial capability of students and their families is crucial to enabling them to make informed economic decisions about their future, including about higher education,” said Brandee McHale, Chief Operating Officer of the Citi Foundation.  “The Dollars for College Toolkit takes the mystery away from the financial aid process, and the Citi Foundation is proud to support efforts to increase the number of low-income students who obtain a college degree.”   

To access the Dollars for College: A Student Financial Planning Toolkit in English or Spanish downloadable pdf, or to access the interactive online version of the guide, click here.

If you’d like to share information about the guide, click here to download a promotional flyer, or tweet @citi, @usaspire, @americaspromise  launch Dollars for College online! More at:  #gradnation

Dollars for College Flyer.pdf

Dollars for College press release (ESPANOL)

America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. We bring together more than 350 national organizations representing nonprofit groups, businesses, communities, educators and policymakers. Through our GradNation campaign, we mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. Building on the legacy of our founding chairman General Colin Powell, America’s Promise believes the success of young people is grounded in the Five Promises—Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others. For more information, visit
uAspire is the nation’s leading provider of college affordability advising services to America’s youth and families, helping them realize their higher education goals and providing a better foundation for a successful and productive future.  To ensure that all young Americans have the financial information and resources they need to find an affordable path to – and through – a postsecondary education, uAspire deploys: direct service programming, in four Massachusetts cities, Miami, FL, and San Francisco & Oakland, CA; training partnerships, across 26 states, with non-profit organizations, school districts and charter management organizations; and virtual support services reaching young people nationally. For more information, please visit
Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress in communities around the world and focuses on initiatives that expand financial inclusion. We collaborate with best-in-class partners to create measurable economic improvements that strengthen low-income families and communities. Through a “More than Philanthropy” approach, Citi’s business resources and human capital enhance our philanthropic investments and impact. For more information, visit