Even the brightest students need guidance when preparing for the rigors of Advanced Placement courses and college-level academics. CollegeFirst pairs talented college mentors with promising high school students to strengthen foundational concepts in preparation for the rigor of AP coursework.

  • U.S. ranking in math scores among 34 developed countries:
  • 27th
  • Students who pass Advanced Placement math tests, however, consistently perform at the top of the rankings.
  • Number of CollegeFirst students in 2017:
  • 162
  • Students from Birmingham and Tuscaloosa attended the three-week Advanced Placement Institute.
  • Number of CollegeFirst mentors in 2017:
  • 51
  • Mentors from five college campuses spent the month of June teaching our high school students.
  • % of Alabama students who passed an AP exam in 2015:
  • 12.7%
  • AP courses allow motivated students to take college-level classes taught in their local high schools. 32% of Alabama high school students graduating in 2015 took at least one AP exam during high school.
  • 2010:
  • High school students:
  • 1,563
  • College Mentors:
  • 478
  • Hours spent in Program:
  • 64,472

A $500 contribution means one week of summer enrichment for 50 high school students preparing for rigorous Advanced Placement coursework.

U.S. education levels continue to fall in international rankings, leading to an erosion of American competitiveness in the global economy. And our home state of Alabama consistently ranks below the national average in math and science achievement. All young people—especially those from low-income communities—experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. This low-income "summer slide" contributes to a widening of the achievement gap over time.

High School Application

College Mentor Application

The Value of AP

Advanced Placement courses allow motivated students to take college-level classes taught in their local high schools by talented and dedicated AP teachers. AP courses culminate in a suite of college-level assessments developed and scored by college and university faculty, as well as experienced AP teachers.

Students passing AP exams are three times more likely to earn a college degree than students who do not pass them, while six-year college graduation rates rise from 15 percent for African-American and Hispanic students to 60 percent or higher if they have passed at least one AP exam. Plus, students enrolled in AP courses are internationally competitive.

Like our CollegeFirst Facebook Page!



A+ College Ready has developed a the curriculum that CollegeFirst utilizes with our students and also provides AP teachers during the summer Institute.

The University of Alabama hosts our Tuscaloosa CollegeFirst AP Summer Institute on campus, providing our high school students the opportunity to experience being on a college campus.  UA also sponsors a course on educational disparities and sends students to both CollegeFirst site locations (Birmingham and Tuscaloosa).

UAB hosts our Birmingham CollegeFirst AP Summer Institute on campus, providing our high school students the opportunity to experience being on a college campus.


Impact America, an AmeriCorps Program, is housed and supported by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama.  Additional office space is provided by UAB and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC.