The US college system is a difficult process to go through, limiting the numbers that attend. Alex Bernadotte, founder of Beyond 12, told Inspirefest 2016 how this is changing.

Alex Bernadotte’s Beyond 12 has a difficult task, as the expansion of the pool of talent heading into the US college system is far from an easy mission.

In the US, only 8pc of students from the lowest income quartile can expect to earn a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s, versus 82pc from the highest income quartile. Bernadotte, quite rightly, is appalled by that.

The talent available in a country as big as the US is immense, however, cutting off large swathes of society due to family income seems inherently wrong.

“Think of the gap; think about what that means in terms of potential, or lost potential, for the students, their families, their communities and the world,” she said.

Beyond 12 works with 40,000 students, acting as a data and service bridge between both high school and college. It provides students with coaching, feedback and programmes to help prepare for college.

According to Bernadotte, data and technology are helping to turn the tide.

Words by Gordon Hunt

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