About the ASPIRE Program

About ASPIRE

Administered by the Oregon Student Access Commission, ASPIRE (Access to Student assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone) helps middle and high school students access education and training beyond high school. Students receive information about college and career options, admission, and financial aid from trained and supportive, ASPIRE volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with them throughout the year. Beginning with just four pilot schools in 1998, ASPIRE will expand to 145 sites across Oregon by June 2013. ASPIRE serves students by:

  • Helping high schools build a sustainable community of volunteer mentors
  • Educating students and families about the scholarship application process and other options for paying for postsecondary education
  • Providing mentoring, resources, and encouragement to help students access education and training beyond high school

ASPIRE Students

ASPIRE is for all students. It is an all-comer's program and serves the entire student body. Any student who believes they can benefit from an ASPIRE mentor is welcomed and encouraged to participate. By being inclusive, ASPIRE ensures that all of Oregon's students have many options for a fulfilling future beyond high school.

ASPIRE Mentors

Volunteer ASPIRE mentors are assigned to work one-on-one with students, guiding them through important steps toward postsecondary education. The ASPIRE mentor position attracts a broad spectrum of adult volunteers. Many are parents/guardians of students at the ASPIRE school, professionals, some of whom are the first in their family to attend college, or retired community members. Volunteers do not have to have attended college themselves to be effective ASPIRE mentors.

ASPIRE Partners

ASPIRE was developed as a collaborative project between the Oregon Student Access Commission and the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), a private nonprofit based in Portland whose mission is to enhance nonprofit community development projects. Since its inception, ASPIRE has expanded to include several partnerships, including the state of Oregon. Complete list of partnerships.

ASPIRE Sites and Structure

The ASPIRE program is administered by the Oregon Student Access Commission's Grants and Scholarships Division. Four Access Specialists work directly with ASPIRE site coordinators and administrators to successfully manage the programs in Oregon. Each participating site fits into one of four statewide regions, 2012-2013 ASPIRE Site List.

ASPIRE staff list

Interested in finding out how to become an ASPIRE site? Click here to find out more.