Philanthropy beat: College Possible is its new name

  • Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 30, 2012 - 5:53 PM

Admission Possible, a college preparation program now helping 7,500 low-income Twin Cities students, changed its named on Monday to College Possible.

A trademark dispute forced the nonprofit to switch identities, not exactly a welcome move for an organization with a national reputation for successful student outcomes.

"It's always hard to leave the familiar, to leave a name we've been so closely tied to for 12 years,'' said Sara Dziuk, executive director of its Twin Cities office, one of three nationally.

"But as we got into the process, we saw it as an opportunity. As an organization, we had changed our mission. We're not just about college admission, but college success,'' Dziuk said. She was referring to academic support for students now available even after high school.

On Monday, College Possible kicked off its new website, www.CollegePossible.org as well as new Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. In the weeks ahead, the T-shirts, banners and other items used in high schools across the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Omaha also will be replaced.

The name and branding changes were required because of a trademark conflict with another Admission Possible in California. That for-profit organization, which does similar work, had given the St. Paul nonprofit permission to use its name in Minnesota and surrounding states when the group was founded in 2000.

When the organization decided last year to expand into Omaha, and eventually other metro areas, that agreement ended. It selected the name "College Possible'' in September.

Its successful model of providing an intensive two-year curriculum of coaching and academic support for students will remain the same, Dziuk said. That model more than doubles the chances a low-income student will enroll in a four-year postsecondary institution, according to a 2011 study by a researcher at Harvard University.

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

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