College & Alumni Program (CAP)
Q: Why did CAP start?
A: CAP started in 2013 to provide rigorous and structured support to Making Waves Academy students when they graduated high school and entered college. In 2016, CAP extended its services to low-income high school graduates from the surrounding nine Bay Area counties via the CAP Bay Area program.
Q: How does CAP get funding?
A: CAP receives funding via charitable grants and donations made to Making Waves Foundation.
Q: How is CAP different than other college success programs?
A: What differentiates CAP is its unique combination of personalized college coaching, financial literacy training, technology, and scholarships. Additionally, CAP coaches and financial service coordinators are experienced professionals with secondary degrees.
Q: What students can participate in CAP?
A: Students that graduate from Making Waves Academy are automatically enrolled in CAP during their senior year of high school. Low-income high school students who live in one of the nine Bay Area counties can apply to be part of the CAP Bay Area program.
Q: What problem is CAP trying to solve?
A: Only 9% of low-income students graduate from college within six years. CAP is working to change this statistic: more than 75% of CAP students are on track to earn their college degree within six years. On average, CAP students borrow $529 in federal loans annually, which is 80% less than the national average of $2,593 in federal loans for undergraduate students.
Q: How is CAP connected to Making Waves Foundation?
A: CAP is a core program of the Making Waves Foundation, a 501(c)3 private operating foundation.
Q: Does CAP have programming for community college?
A: CAP offers community college programming for MWA graduates. This program ensures CAP students are set up for success to transition to a four-year institution in a timely manner or enter a career of their choice.
Q: How much scholarship money does CAP provide?
A: CAP provides up to $10,000 per year (as determined by need) for MWA graduates, for up to six years. CAP provides up to $5,000 per year (as determined by need) for CAP Bay Area students, for up to five years.
CAP Bay Area
Q: Am I eligible to apply for CAP Bay Area?
A: If you are a high school senior, four-year college bound, live in and attend high school in one of the nine Bay Area counties, and have an Estimated Family Contribution (based on the FAFSA) below $5,000, then you are eligible for CAP Bay Area. If you do not meet ALL these criteria, then, unfortunately, you are not eligible to apply.
Q: Do you accept applications from students who have not completed the FAFSA?
A: Applicants must complete either the FAFSA or the Dream Act to be considered for CAP Bay Area. If an applicant cannot submit verification of one of these two documents, they are not eligible to apply for CAP Bay Area.
Q: What is double-served?
A: Because we want to serve as many students as possible who need our assistance, CAP Bay Area will not double-serve students. This means we will not accept students who are already part of a high school or community-based program that provides college assistance programming. We will still serve: 1) Students who receive other scholarships (monetary, without programming support), and 2) Students whose supporting organization is based on/run through their college campus (i.e., EOP).
Q: Why is there a two-part application process?
A: At CAP we like to make sure we are over-prepared, which is why we begin the application process in the fall of senior year. However, we also want to recognize that many students are very busy during the fall with the college application process. Thus, we have created a 2-part process so that Part I can be completed relatively quickly in the fall (less than 5 hours of time is expected) and that we then ask selected students to spend more time on Part II, with essays and recommendations during the months of January and February, when most of the college applications are submitted. This allows us to get all the information we need and to carefully make selections well before students must sign the Statement of Intent to Register at a college/university by May 1.
Q: Do I need recommenders?
A: Yes, students selected for Part II of the application process must provide two references. These recommenders are sent a questionnaire that must be filled out.
Q: Who should I ask to be my recommender?
A: • We recommend individuals who know the student well but are not a direct family member. Ideally, the individual has known the student for a longer period of time and has experience working with high school students. We are looking to people who can speak to an applicant’s ability to grow and overcome adversity.
Q: What is the deadline for my recommenders?
A: Recommenders are asked to submit their recommendations by the same Part II application deadline that is given to students.