East Bay College Access Network


East Bay CAN was founded in 2011 with the East Bay Consortium, Centro Legal de la Raza, the East Oakland Youth Development Center and the Marcus Foster Education Institute. The four non-profits created the Network to address the crisis of college access and opportunity for youth in Oakland. As a new collaborative, the four founders chose to dedicate their first project to increasing the number of Oakland Unified graduates who apply for and receive financial aid.

Today East Bay CAN is comprised of nine Oakland agencies with a shared vision of strengthening the educational attainment and opportunities for youth in Oakland, the East Bay and beyond.


Over 70% of OUSD students qualify for free and reduced lunch. This makes these same seniors also eligible for $5,645.00 Pell Grants for college. While Oakland’s 63% graduation rate may appear to be the number one barrier to college enrollment, national studies show students and families who believe they cannot afford college is one of the greatest killers of the college dream even before a student reaches their senior year of high school.

East Bay CAN Believes financial need should never limit a child’s opportunity to a quality education. Every high school senior should complete a FAFSA or CA Dream Application. Everyone completes!


2011-12 Year 1: The Pilot

  • Supported 3 OUSD high schools: Castlemont, Fremont & McClymonds
  • 1st ever district-wide upload of OUSD seniors’ GPAs to the California Student Aid Commission, automatically entering all seniors in the pool for a Cal Grant
  • 130 more Cal Grants were awarded for Fall 2012

2012-13 Year 2: Building

  • 4 Schools, added supports to Oakland High School
  • Increased Cash for College attendance
  • Over 30% increase in Cal Grant and FAFSA applications from previous year

2013-2014 Year 3: Expanding Our Horizons

  • District-Wide: Bringing the Four Phases of Financial Aid Toolkit© to all OUSD high schools
  • Increased parent engagement and outreach
  • Targeted support for undocumented students and families
  • Trainings and resources for counselors, teachers and schools
  • New Scholarships! For seniors at high schools with highest rates of FAFSA or CA Dream Application completion by March 2nd


2014-2015 Year 4: Sustainability and a New Project

  • Continued implementation of the Four Phases of Financial Aid Toolkit© in all OUSD high schools with technical support to school and district staff
  • More Scholarships for Seniors! See the College Scholarships page to apply
  • Instituting sustainable practices to always have financial aid for all
  • Deeper look at new strategies to increase college readiness, application and matriculation beyond financial aid

We Support students, families and schools in Oakland Unified to understand and navigate the complicated world of financial aid so every student can access college.


Find out more about the Four Phases of Financial Aid Toolkit©, including upcoming parent workshops, scholarships and new resources at your high school. Or if you have a question about financial aid, just ask – because it should be simple.

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