Success Boston in final running for $100,000 prize from Nellie Mae Education Foundation

September 16, 2014

College completion partnership needs votes to capture prize, bring successful college completion initiative to more Boston students

BostonSuccess Boston, the widely acclaimed college completion partnership aimed at getting thousands of Boston Public Schools students ready, into, and through college has been named a finalist for the $100,000 Larry O’Toole Award from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

And now Success Boston needs your help to succeed.

A popular vote being held now through September 30 will determine which of six finalists will collect the annual award – and the partners in this innovative collaboration, including the office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, UMass Boston, the Boston Private Industry Council, and dozens of Massachusetts colleges and universities are seeking your vote.

“The evidence is clear that Success Boston is changing the lives of Boston Public Schools students and graduates,” said J. Keith Motley, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston and a co-chair of Success Boston. “This funding competition is both a chance to celebrate that impact with our votes and secure additional resources that will expand the program to more students.”

Success Boston was launched in 2008 after a Boston Foundation report found that barely a third of Boston Public Schools graduates were completing higher education. The partnership strives to double that college completion rate to 70 percent for the BPS Class of 2014, using an intensive coaching model to support students academically, financially, and socially as they work to navigate what can be a daunting higher education process.

Already, the results have been positive – the six-year college completion rate for BPS graduates now hovers near 50 percent, and research shows that students in the Success Boston program are as much as 25 percentage points more likely to persist in school than peers without similar supports.

To vote for Success Boston, please visit


Founded in November 2008, Success Boston is an unprecedented collaboration between the City of Boston, the Boston Public Schools, the Boston Foundation, numerous area nonprofits, and nearly 40 Massachusetts colleges and universities working together to ensure that BPS students are “getting ready, getting in and getting through” higher education by enhancing students’ academic preparation for college, supporting their efforts to make the transition to higher education and ensuring they receive the supports necessary to earn a degree prepared to enter the workforce.