Great Lakes College Access
Let us help you get more students on track for college.

There is no surer path to a brighter future than completing some form of higher education. Students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, and first-generation students especially have so much to gain. Working with counselors and educators like you, we've helped thousands overcome long odds and make it in college. We're excited to offer up our free services in support of your efforts again this year!

Bring us in

Our college access advisors are on call to come to your school and present workshops, run hands-on labs, and supplement your counseling with expert one-on-one advising. Each of our advisors brings years of experience helping students and families get over the college planning hump, and on track for success beyond high school.

Simplify the process

We simplify the often intimidating and overwhelming college planning process into three clear goals: finding the right college fit, applying to college, and applying for financial aid. Everything we do is organized around these goals to help students and families follow through and achieve each one.

We have services for students in each grade, from 9th through 12th graders. It's never too early to start laying the groundwork for a successful college experience!

Our 18-member team provides free services at schools in South Dakota and Wisconsin exclusively. Advisors live in and nearby the communities they serve. We also provide free materials for you to share with students at pivotal points in the college decision-making process.

About us

The College Access Advising program is brought to you by Great Lakes, a nonprofit dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967. Our organization is trusted by the U.S. Department of Education to guaranty and service federal student loans for nearly 9 million borrowers and thousands of colleges nationwide. Our earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country, with nearly $127 million in grant funding committed since 2006. To learn more about us, visit our homepage.

In South Dakota, the program is supported by a generous grant from the South Dakota Education Access Foundation (SDEAF), to make our services available to every South Dakota high school.

Please know this: Great Lakes does not make student loans and never has. We do not push student loans in any of our services to students. Instead, we urge students to max out on grants, scholarships, and other forms of aid that don't have to be paid back. When that's not enough, our goal is to see students borrow only the minimum amount necessary to make college attendance possible. Loans represent a student's investment in their future, and we want to help them make the most of it, from borrowing responsibly while in college to managing their loans successfully afterward.