One generation leading the next

A mentor's advice 

The courage to ask

On a great path

A UBS-SEO College Scholar’s Journey: Listen in as Lateef, a college junior and Marvin Henry, a senior investment consultant in our Asset Management division chat about advice they’ve received from their mentors, the importance of being brave and asking questions and charting a path for the future.


UBS NextGen Leaders, the firm's signature Americas  education initiative, aims to increase college and career success  for first-generation, lower-income students. We support intergenerational economic mobility through bachelor's degree attainment and career readiness.

A $10 million, five-year commitment, UBS NextGen Leaders is expanding college success through two innovative programs, The TalentED Project, in partnership with the Tennessee College Access & Success Network (TCASN) and Discovery Education, and UBS-SEO College Scholars, with SEO Scholars.

The TalentED Project

UBS-SEO College Scholars

The TalentED Project

The TalentED Project is a new online platform designed to match first-generation, lower-income college-goers with select institutions that are a good fit for them.

Free for all users, this relationship-based tool connects admissions recruiters with college access professionals (guidance counselors and nonprofit leaders) in order to strengthen the recruitment pipeline of high-potential students.

The program is a partnership between UBS, the Tennessee College Access & Success Network (TCASN) and Discovery Education, and designed in consultation with over 150 college admissions and college access professionals. Following the launch of a successful pilot, The TalentED Project is now live nationwide.

To date, 157 admissions recruiters from 100 colleges and universities, including Davidson, Georgia Tech, Centre, Texas Tech, Middlebury, Swarthmore, Butler and Vanderbilt have signed up on the site. More than 300 college access organizations and high schools including Breakthrough, College Possible, KIPP, OneGoal and The Opportunity Network are creating profiles and inviting students. So far, over 1,300 students have signed up and users represent 225 cities, 39 states and Washington D.C.

Progress to date:

  • Trained an 92 to 93 1689 professionals on how to evaluate a good-fit college through in-person workshops and 92 webinars. 
  • Empowered students to evaluate colleges and universities on criteria of good-fit and helped them narrow their college search.
  • TalentED students are going to college at a higher rate versus the national average (74% vs. 63% for low and middle income students).
  • TalentED students are going to college at a higher rate versus the national average of 63% for low and middle income studentsand 72% enrolled in institutions profiled on TalentED.


UBS-SEO College Scholars

Designed in partnership with SEO Scholars, this intensive college success program supports 125 African American and Hispanic/Latino young men to persist to graduation at competitive institutions. This effort is aligned with President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative.

The cohort receives individualized advising, international experience, leadership development and internship and career preparation.

Progress to date:

  • Over 1,000 students and parents attended workshops on how to apply to college and review financial aid options.
  • 94% of the cohort returned to college for their junior year, an important indicator for persistence to graduation.
  • Scholars participated in three to five –week international trips to 15 countries including Argentina, Botswana, France, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Scholars have received 3,596 hours of individualized advising focused on academic, social, and career support.

About SEO Scholars

SEO Scholars, part of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, is a free eight-year academic program that gets low-income public high school students to and through college - with a 95% college graduation rate. This is done through intensive, one-on-one academic, personal, and career support throughout college.

About Tennessee College Access & Success Network (TCASN)

Tennessee College Access and Success Network aims to establish a college-going culture across Tennessee and works with member organizations and partners to remove barriers to higher education, promote college persistence, and increase postsecondary completion rates.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education, is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development and the largest professional learning community of its kind that empowers educators and increases students' academic achievement.

The Higher Ed Challenge

In fall 2015, UBS hosted a three-month challenge to help close the college affordability gap.

In partnership with OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform that catalyzes the global community around solving big social issues, we asked: How might we reimagine the cost of college in the U.S. and how it's paid for?

In early 2016, UBS and OpenIDEO reviewed all ideas that participants provided, and announced the Top Ideas as well as ways to potentially carry them forward. Click here to learn more.

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