Since 1997, Bottom Line has addressed the low college graduation rates of low-income and first-generation students. Our organization was founded on the belief that students need a mentor and a guide during the college application process and throughout college to succeed. By providing consistent one-on-one support, Bottom Line has helped thousands of low-income and first-generation students stay in college and complete their degrees. Bottom Line is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is nearly 100% privately funded. We currently serve over 6,000 students through our two primary programs – College Access and College Success.

Bottom Line services are available from regional offices located in BostonChicagoNew York City, and Worcester.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: At Bottom Line, we are committed to creating diverse and inclusive environments for both our staff and the students we serve. We recognize and value the similarities and differences among us. We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining employees who reflect the diversity of the students we serve, and know this is essential to our organization’s success.


Bottom Line’s mission is to help low income, first generation students get into college, graduate from college, and go far in life. Our vision is to dramatically transform urban communities by producing thousands of new career-ready college graduates.

Bottom Line holds the following core values at the center of everything we do:

We are dedicated to building strong, meaningful relationships with our students, schools, community partners, supporters, and co-workers. Our one-on-one approach to service provides long-term individualized guidance to students and creates a positive environment. We are engaging, responsive, and we always follow through on our promises.

We are relentless in pursuit of our goals, and we expect the same from our students. We are not satisfied unless we resolve every problem, answer every question, and explore every option so that our students can overcome obstacles and achieve success in college and in life.

We are committed to achieving high-quality outcomes and rely on quantitative methods and tools to guide us in setting and reaching our goals. Our focus on collecting and analyzing data helps us measure and improve each aspect of our work. We hold ourselves accountable to ensure the long-term success of our students.

We get to the heart of matters quickly, eliminating waste and capitalizing on every minute, every dollar, and every skill available to us. Our data-driven approach requires us to continuously assess the value of our actions on a personal and organizational level to ensure that we are using our time and resources effectively.

We uphold the integrity of our organization by providing honest guidance to our students and never compromising our standard of care. We accept responsibility for providing the highest quality support but recognize the need to instill in each of our students a sense of personal responsibility for their own success.

We always strive to improve, no matter how much we have accomplished or how far we have come. We are committed to doing more, being better, and not resting until all of our students have the opportunity to succeed. We set the highest possible standards and challenge ourselves to meet them every day.

Bottom Line was founded in 1997 as a small operation supporting 25 high school seniors from Boston. In a time when 1 in 7 low-income students who began attending college would finish, Bottom Line’s founder Dave Borgal helped all 25 students get accepted to college and 80% graduate in six years or less. Since then, Bottom Line has maintained a high level of success and grown into a nationally recognized College Access and Success Program serving more than 6,200 students from Boston, Chicago, New York City and Worcester. Read more about our history and growth.

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Now more than ever, there is an increased demand for college educated workers. Yet a degree remains elusive for the low income populations across the US, particularly those living in the inner city. The systems to support these students through high school and while in college are not yet effective at ensuring an acceptable level of completion. Bottom Line has provided critical support and guidance to low-income and first-generation college students since 1997 to address these very challenges.

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Beginning in junior or senior year of high school, students visit our offices to begin meeting with a Bottom Line counselor. They share with us their interests, aspirations, academic history, and family circumstances. Through a series of one-on-one meetings, Bottom Line’s full-time college counselors help each high school senior navigate the complex and intimidating college application process.

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The College Success Program is designed to provide guidance to students who enroll in commonly-attended regional colleges. College students are advised and mentored on campus for up to 6 years. The purpose of this innovative program is to ensure that students have the support they need to earn a degree. We focus on academic, financial, career, and personal challenges – the main causes of students leaving school. Students who participate in our Success Program graduate within 6 years at rates up to 43 percentage points higher than students who receive support only with college applications.Learn More
Bottom Line was founded to help low-income and first-generation students graduate from college by providing one-on-one mentoring and support. We have spent the last 18 years taking that simple but extremely effective idea and building on it, expanding it, and improving it. Please consider getting involved with or donation to Bottom Line and providing us with the means to keep our programs strong and growing.
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