University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Educational Partnerships

Paths to A College Education

Photo of students from NAI programOver the years, USC has opened its doors to the surrounding communities, not only encouraging residents to partner with the university, but also inviting academically promising students to become full-fledged Trojans. The university strives both to decrease the high-school dropout rate and increase the college graduation rate through a set of programs that reinforce our commitment to higher education.

Established in 1989, The Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) is a comprehensive educational and social-services initiative for low-income, at-risk students and their families. Beginning in sixth grade, the program challenges and prepares students with seven full years of accelerated classes, Saturday schooling, and college counseling. The reward? Program graduates who meet USC’s competitive admissions requirements are promised a full, four-and-a-half-year financial package for their undergraduate education.

The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to students and parents from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.

The university also welcomes the opportunity to initiate programs such as “Kinder 2 College,” a pilot project that aims to pair boys in first through third grade with mentors who help to develop their reading skills.

USC NAI is increasing expectations for local youth, changing the neighborhood culture by helping students to apply to college and make the grade once they’ve been accepted. Our dedication to education inspires and motivates these promising students in Los Angeles to “Fight On!”

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