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Uptake and OneGoal Partner to Create College Choice App for Students in Low-income Communities

New Tool Empowers Students and Teachers with Individualized College Matching Support


CHICAGO, February 9, 2017 — OneGoal and Uptake today announced a partnership to develop an innovative app geared at students in low-income communities to help them explore their college options and easily identify match colleges.  The new app, set to launch this spring, will be a key lever in supporting OneGoal Fellows and first-generation college students to reach college graduation.

Research confirms that nationally, nearly half of all students from low-income communities enroll in higher education institutions that are less selective than their academic ability. This is commonly known as “undermatching.” Students who undermatch are less likely to earn their college degree. More selective schools tend to have more supports for first-generation students and have higher graduation rates.  The new app will help students find colleges that best fit their individual needs and where they will be more likely to earn their college degree.  

Through the new app, available on mobile platforms and desktops, students enter information including their GPA and standardized test scores. The app uses data science, building off of past data from OneGoal and publicly available data, to display a list of schools and the strength of the match at those schools. It takes into account the likelihood of admission and graduation based on students’ inputs. Students can then filter their matching schools by preferences such as major, distance from home, and typical financial support from the university to build a portfolio of schools — from “reach schools” to “safe schools” — where they are predicted to get in and persist to graduation. The app will also offer information on student diversity and graduation rates. OneGoal Teachers, known as Program Directors, will be able to use the app to see how their cohorts are progressing on a macro level, as well as individual students’ selections.

“This app tackles a pervasive problem in our educational system that inhibits students from reaching their full educational and economic potential,” said Andrew Means, Head of beyond.uptake, which is the civic and philanthropic arm of Uptake.  “We see college undermatching as a data problem, one that an app leveraging machine learning can help teachers and advisors solve. And with a partner like OneGoal, a leader in helping first generation college students persist through college graduation, we see enormous potential in scaling this solution.”

“At OneGoal, we have seen time and time again that when you demystify the complicated college choice process by equipping students and teachers with information, you unlock student agency and optimize decision-making,” explained Melissa Connelly, Vice President of Program at OneGoal. “This collaboration with Uptake is part of our larger strategy to leverage data in strategic ways in order to differentiate our programming to better support our Fellows’ diverse aspirations.”

The application developed by Uptake, leverages the research of the Consortium for Chicago School Research, which Noble Network of Charter Schools and OneGoal have refined over years of working with students in low-income communities. The app will launch in the spring of 2017 with a select group of OneGoal Fellows in Chicago, with plans to integrate it into the OneGoal curriculum in all OneGoal regions – Chicago, Houston, Massachusetts, Metro Atlanta and New York. Uptake aims to work with multiple non-profits, charter networks and public schools across the country to expand this vision to hundreds of thousands of students by the 2018/2019 school year.


About OneGoal

OneGoal makes college graduation a reality for all students. We collaborate closely with public schools in low-income communities, providing teachers with a robust curriculum, technology, training and coaching to implement our three-year model with a group of 25 students (Fellows) per cohort. Teachers (called OneGoal Program Directors) support the same group of Fellows beginning in their junior year of high school and bridge the gap through their first year of college.  In a nation where only 9% of students from low-income communities graduate from college, 82% OneGoal high school graduates enroll and 78% of them are persisting or have graduated with a college degree.

About Uptake and beyond.uptake

Uptake is a predictive analytics SaaS platform that delivers solutions in major industries that increase productivity, reliability, and safety. Leveraging partnerships with industry icons, Uptake’s platform aggregates enterprise and external data and applies cross-industry data science to produce high-value, actionable insights. Uptake’s platform is powered by a continuous feedback loop, recommending impactful actions that are then optimized by human intelligence. beyond.uptake is Uptake’s civic innovation and philanthropic arm. We leverage our people and the power of data insight, building data tools that multiple organizations across the social sector can use to solve a pervasive problem. For more information, visit

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