College Access Center


Comprehensive Support, Academic Advising & Pre-College Counseling for All LEAP Students

The College Access Center takes the leadership in promoting a college ready culture across all grade levels, but with an intensified focus at the high school. With offices and staff at each school building, we provide the support mechanisms to ensure that there is alignment between college aspirations and college attainment. We stand by a collective commitment to motivate, prepare, support and celebrate our student’s quest of a college degree.

Our programs target:

  • Student performance in courses that raise content knowledge and basic skills.
  • Support programs to ensure that our students build core academic skills.
  • Individualized and group opportunities for students to develop non-cognitive skills and “college knowledge.”
  • Programs geared at strengthening the developmental demands of college, including problem-solving, and coping skills that allow students to successfully manage new environments and the academic and social demands of college.
  • A focus on developing “college knowledge”, including the information and skills that allow students to successfully navigate the complex college admissions and financial aid processes, as well as develop an understanding of college norms and culture.

Menu of Services

Director's Message

Greetings From the Center for College Access!

As a proud LEAP Academy alumna (Class of 2008), I am honored to serve as Director of the College Access Center of Excellence. College preparation, enrollment and persistence is at the core of the LEAP Academy mission and its instructional program. Through our missionary focus on college readiness, each year since 2005, LEAP has been able to achieve 100% college acceptance and placement, a statistic that places LEAP as one of the best high schools in the region. Our College Access Center has an associate in each of our school buildings who is responsible for creating a college-going culture and ensuring that each student’s educational needs are met through academic advising and support.

At the high school level, College Access is tasked with providing each senior with direct support through the college application process. With intensive workshops and 1:1 academic guidance, our students are able to gain admittance into top-tier institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the list goes on! Upperclassmen also have the opportunity to participate in dual enrollment courses at Rutgers University and Rowan University which enables them to receive college credits before they even graduate high school. Our underclassmen are taught to begin building their resumes and supported to participate in innovative summer pre-college programs. Programming at the College Access Center is grounded on the belief that at LEAP, college begins in infancy.

LEAP scholars understand that a college education is vital in navigating today’s society and we are thankful of our parents, faculty and college for trusting and supporting our students in this endeavor!

Marchelle Roberts


Marchelle Roberts

Director of College Access

Claudia Sepulveda

College Access Program Associate

Angel Perez

Teacher Fellow- College Access Program Associate



  • General Information
  • The Rutgers University Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship
  • Peter J. Burke Scholarship

General Information

College is 100 Percent Affordable at LEAP

The College Access Center takes the leadership in promoting a college ready culture across all grade levels, but with an intensified focus at the high school. With offices and staff at each school building, we provide the support mechanisms to ensure that there is alignment between college aspirations and college attainment. We stand by a collective commitment to motivate, prepare, support and celebrate our student’s quest of a college degree. College access at LEAP Academy means 100 percent high school graduation and college admission, but also 100 percent affordability. LEAP Academy is committed to its students’ continuing education, and therefore provides funding opportunities exclusively for LEAP students.

The Rutgers University Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship

The Community Leadership Center (CLC) at Rutgers–Camden created the Alfredo Santiago Scholarship in 1999 in order to help LEAP Academy students attend college and graduate with the experience needed to pursue successful careers. For more information on the Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship visit the Community Leadership Center website. To encourage the college culture promoted at LEAP Academy, high achieving students are inducted to the Alfredo Santiago Rutgers Scholars Program; from an early age students are given the promise of a college scholarship provided that he/she continues to excel in school.

Peter J. Burke Scholarship

The Peter J. Burke, Jr. Scholarship was established in 2014 in loving memory of Peter Burke for LEAP Academy University Charter School graduates to attend college. He was treasurer for the LEAP Academy Board of Trustees for many years and played an important role in LEAP’s successful expansion to a K-12 charter school. Peter Burke was a champion of LEAP Academy students and their academic aspirations. The Scholarship provides financial assistance to outstanding LEAP Academy graduates, giving Camden City students the opportunity to pursue their college education. The Scholarship is awarded annually to eligible LEAP graduates based on academic merit and financial need. Recipients who remain in good academic standing may renew the scholarship for up to three additional years (four years if they are enrolled in a five-year program). This scholarship supports a number of exceptional LEAP Academy alumni attending four-year universities in New Jersey and across the country.

College Applications

10 Crucial Steps in the College Application Process

1. Work on your resume and personal statement.

These two documents are crucial in the development of your application package that you will send out to prospective colleges and universities. It will likely take several rounds of editing in order to perfect, so it is a good place to start!

2. Reach out to your favorite teachers/professors for letters of recommendation.

Many of your teachers will be receiving requests for letters of recommendation. Make sure you ask early in order to ensure that you will have all of your letters together before any deadlines begin to creep up.

3. Visit colleges.

Envisioning yourself as a student on a college campus is one of the most powerful and effective ways of determining if a school is right for you. Do you feel like you belong? Is there a sense that this is the right place for you? Could you see yourself living and studying here for the next four years?

4. Find the right colleges for you.

The right fit school involves so much more than whether or not you are accepted. The environment, class sizes, geographic location, and employment prospects are only a few of the many things to consider when finding schools in which you will be successful.

5. Sign-up for the Common Application.

The Common Application is an effective way to organize your applications. It will easily track your progress and connect your applications to recommenders and College Access staff to ensure your applications are complete and submitted on time.

6. Register for the ACT Exam.

The ACT Exam is often seen as a good alternative to the SAT. There is no reason for you to not take the test as it could potentially add a great deal of positive support to your application package. Go to the ACT Exam’s official website to learn more about this test and sign up to take it.

7. Mark your calendar with important deadlines for applications to schools and scholarships.

Deadlines tend to come up quickly during your senior year. Planning your year well will help you to manage your stress levels, and prepare your applications with time to spare so that you can ensure you have completed everything to the best of your ability.

8. Sign-up for FastWeb. Scholarships are everywhere.

FastWeb is a great resource that brings many available scholarships to one convenient place. Sign up here to browse various fund sources and register to receive email updates based on your preferences.

9. Begin working on the Rutgers Application.

The Rutgers University application is one of the most comprehensive applications you will complete. Make sure it is one of the first you begin working on so that you can increase your chances of admissions to New Jersey’s state university.

10. Begin working on your FAFSA, create an HESAA account and submit tax return transcripts.

Your financial aid package will be determined by your FAFSA. Begin working on submitting it as soon as you can after January 1st. Encourage your parent/guardian to also submit their taxes as quickly as they can. Many scholarships and other financial sources will need your FAFSA information, so ensuring its accuracy and speedy completion is paramount.



There are no announcements for this Center at this point in time. Please check back later to see if any announcements have been posted.

Early College Program