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Getting Kids Into College Is One Thing. Getting Them Through Is Another

NEW ORLEANS —When Pamela Bolton searched for a middle school for her daughter seven years ago, convenience, not college, was on her mind. She ended up enrolling her daughter at a new and untested middle school called New Orleans College Prep largely because she could get there easily. But New Orleans College Prep, and its partner high school, Cohen College Prep, ended up providing much more than an easy commute.

Last spring a large poster of Bolton’s daughter, Imani, then a graduating senior, attested to such as it hung in the school hallway. “IMANI HAS OPTIONS,” the poster proclaimed, listing the scholarship awards that Imani had won up to that point: $4,000 to attend Jackson State University; $52,000 to attend Spring Hill College; $56,000 to attend Emory & Henry College; $32,000 for Millsaps College.