• Academics
History Teacher Vielka Hoy Creates a Bridge to College

Disturbed by inequities in the college admission process for under-resourced students that she saw before coming to Lawrenceville, history teacher Vielka Hoy decided to do something about it. Combining her dual interests in social and computer science, she founded Bridge to College, an advanced search tool that uses dynamic data sources, research, and machine learning to analyze your unique circumstances and show students the colleges where they will thrive both before and after graduation.

Using an advanced algorithm that considers everything from institutional history to psychological climate, Bridge to College gives students a list of colleges that will ensure that the education they receive is strong, the environment they are in is nurturing and the people they are with are welcoming. “We typically work in under-resourced schools and only with colleges that will fund and graduate students on-time,” said Hoy. Since its founding in 2017, 100 percent of students who applied to matched colleges were admitted, fully funded, and have graduated on time or are on track to.

Hoy and her team created a set of algorithms that allow students to present effectively their abilities, talents, and experiences to colleges that are a comprehensive fit. Students log into the site, create an account, and fill out a comprehensive survey. They are then presented with a list of matches and can start communicating with colleges. “They are trying to woo you, not the other way around,” Hoy said.

Students can start the process as early as the seventh grade that, for students who haven’t been encouraged to consider college, can make a world of difference. “Bridge to College shows them that there are options, that college is not out of reach for them,” said Hoy.

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.