Our Process

Providing women with the knowledge, support, and counseling they need to access and succeed at college is done through a proven process that is exclusive to CCF.

Outreach and Access:

Our counselors visit women’s prisons and jails and speak directly to potential students. We work closely with college programs inside women’s correctional facilities, with state and local departments of corrections, and with several social purpose organizations that refer women to us. We also rely on our relationships with these groups when our participants need services such as housing, treatment, legal services, and employment. Because of its unique focus on higher education, CCF fills an important gap among other re-entry programs.


When women enter our program, CCF offers assistance with admissions and financial aid applications and college tours. We counsel our clients about application tactics, and choices that may exceed the student’s means or needs. Many women with criminal involvement falsely assume that they are not eligible for need-based federal or state student aid (TAP and Pell Grants); CCF’s college access counselors demystify financial aid rules.

Success and Beyond:

To support college success, CCF offers an array of support services including life skills workshops and financial literacy education.


We also assist students in accessing on-campus resources, managing time and maximizing learning, and thinking about school in the context of long-term career goals. In the early stages of college enrollment, students receive intense individualized counseling and incentives to work toward the goal of becoming a CCF Fellow.

We encourage students to think beyond their initial degree goals to longer term career and personal success. Our College Beyond efforts support graduate studies for Fellows who have earned one or more previous academic credentials as CCF participants. We offer these students a variety of relevant workshops as part of our continuum of support services.

Marisol’s Story

The first time Marisol met with a CCF counselor she was still incarcerated. On May 22, 2009, she left Bayview Correctional Facility with a heart full of hope, an associate’s degree and a plan to continue her path to higher education. To this day her determination and perseverance have not wavered.

One month and 2 days after being released, Marisol was at CCF’s office filling out her City University of New York (CUNY) transfer application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Read more