Who We Are And How We Are Making A Difference

Minds Matter is a comprehensive and highly-successful three-year program that empowers young people from low-income families to achieve college readiness and success. The organization was founded in New York City in 1991 by six Wall Street professionals who understood that the gap in low-income student achievement is not one of intelligence, but resources. Minds Matter has developed a successful program incorporating tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment experiences that prepare students for bright futures.

Through an intensive and holistic mentoring and academic program, we provide a culture of excellence and rigorous performance standards for our students. We raise their expectations, broaden their dreams, and equip them with a toolkit for future success. Minds Matter achieves a 100% college acceptance rate for our students at quality institutions across the country. Being a graduate of Minds Matter is a mark of hard work, commitment, and achievement to potential colleges and employers.

Minds Matter by the Numbers

73% of students admitted to Barron’s Most, Highly, or Very Competitive schools


Our typical student has a GPA of 3.78


93% of tracked alumni are enrolled in or have graduated from 4-year colleges and universities


89% of students identify as minorities


Return On Investment

Minds Matter is run almost entirely by volunteers, and funded through their in-kind support, as well as the support of generous donors. We aim to make a difference students live and prepare them for college.

Who We Are

We transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success. Minds Matter students come from families with an average income of less than $24,000, just below the federal poverty line. Minds Matter is located in 12 cities nationwide, and a 13th chapter in Detroit will open its doors in Fall 2016.

We begin working with students in their sophomore year of high school, providing individualized tutoring in writing, critical thinking, and math skills development, standardized test prep, access to summer enrichment programs, and college guidance. One hundred percent of our students are accepted into four-year colleges and universities, and 70% attend Most, Highly, and Very Competitive schools as identified by Barron’s.

Clive R. Belfield

Clive R. Belfield, Co-Director, Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education Teachers College, Columbia University, took a look at the economic value of the Minds Matter program. The benefits are mediated through higher rates of college enrollment and completion. Almost all Minds Matter students complete their degrees; these rates are far above the national average. This educational enhancement generates benefits in terms of higher incomes, improved health status and lower social burdens.

An Outstanding ROI

Dr. Belfield found that, compared to all low-income college-bound students, the benefits of Minds Matter are 6.8 times the cost. The social rate of return is 12%. Even when compared to all college-bounds students, who have significantly more resources and social capital, the benefits are 3.1 times greater than the cost and the social benefits are 8%.

Dr. Belfield also looked at the return of investment (ROI) to Minds Matter. at 17:1 – for every dollar of donor-invested funds, the induced economic impact is $17.

By any measure, this is an outstanding ROI, demonstrating that Minds Matter generates substantial net economic value for society by helping students enroll in college, and especially at selective colleges. Moreover, the ROI does not take into account the all-important essential mission of Minds Matter that is also being met: the intrinsic value of giving low-income students an opportunity to obtain a high quality education and all that it offers, and the value that this education brings to society through better health, lower crime, and lower welfare expenditures.

Minds Matter is nationwide. We currently serve students across 12 chapters

Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. Our 13th chapter in Detroit will begin serving students in Fall 2016.

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We Could Not Exist Without Our Volunteers

Minds Matter could not exist without the dedication and commitment of over 1,900 volunteers nationwide. Many of our mentors are working professionals who devote their free time to enriching the lives of our deserving students. Our volunteers are a motivational powerhouse, always available to provide a listening ear and an encouraging word to the students they mentor.