Since 2010, Pass With Flying Colors has provided holistic college access and success programming for first-generation students. More than 175 students have participated in our programs.

The COVID-19 economic downtown provided significant challenges to our small organization. In September, we announced several changes and reductions we hoped would help us weather this situation. Despite all of all our efforts, we are no longer able to sustain the organization and will cease operations on or about the end of January 2021

Our number one priority in the transition is continuing support for our dedicated and hardworking students. We have been working closely with our school partner, Northtown Academy, and other community-based organizations to provide ongoing programming for our high school and college students.


Please review the details below for more information about changes at Pass With Flying Colors.


    What is changing at Pass With Flying Colors and when will the changes occur?
    Pass With Flying Colors has made the difficult but necessary decision to cease operations, with a targeted effective date of January 31, 2021. Programming for students will be completed by January 15, 2021. We are connecting almost all active students to other opportunities.

    Why did the organization make the decision to close?
    We considered many options that would allow us to continue operating. In Fall 2020, we made changes and reductions in programming to reduce costs and allow continued operations. Unfortunately, we did not have enough reserve funds to sustain operations beyond January 2021. We turned our focus to closing down responsibly by identifying partners who would agree to serve our students.

    What plans are in place to support the impacted students?
    Pass With Flying Colors has planned partnerships to transition most active students to other support.

    Students will have the option to directly enroll or receive priority consideration for aligned programs as follows:

    • High School Cohorts
      • As always, high school students have access to college application guidance and other support through Northtown Academy’s Student Services department, which offers seminar courses and individual college counseling. We are working with Northtown Academy’s school counselors to ensure they have what they need to support our students during PWFC’s transition.
      • After School Matters will provide special consideration for PWFC students who apply for the ASMU Spring Break College Access program. Interested students are guaranteed an interview and can request assistance with the application.
      • Chicago Scholars will provide support to some high school seniors, and will provide special consideration to any juniors who apply. All applicants are guaranteed an interview.
      • America Needs You will provide priority consideration when they enter their second year of college.
    • College Students
      • All Spring 2021 scholarships from Pass With Flying Colors will be paid as awarded no later than January 31, 2021.
      • 2020 and 2019 Cohorts – All students attending Illinois colleges or nearby universities will be served by America Needs You.

    What will happen to PWFC’s resources when the organization closes?
    Pass With Flying Colors primary goal is to provide support to our students during this transition. We will allocate remaining funds to the partner organizations serving PWFC students going forward. These donations are in line with state and federal requirements to allocate resources for another charitable purpose. 

    I recently made a donation to PWFC. How were those funds used?
    Recent donations went immediately to serve students and were allocated to provide college scholarships to eligible students in January 2021.


    We are grateful to the following partners who will serve PWFC students going forward:

    • CICS Northtown Academy
    • After School Matters
    • Chicago Scholars
    • America Needs You
    • and others

    Contact Executive Director Jessica Paulsen at with questions or concerns.