To authorize the Secretary of Education to award grants to local educational agencies to improve college access.


Pathways to College Act - Authorizes the Secretary of Education to award competitive five-year grants to local educational agencies that serve mostly high-need high schools for programs to increase the number of students from low-income families who attend college. Defines "high-need high schools" as those where at least one-half of the students are from low-income families.

Requires grantees to use such funds to: (1) train teachers and counselors to provide students with advice concerning postsecondary education; (2) implement a comprehensive college guidance program for all students which exposes them to postsecondary information and planning assistance before the end of their first semester of high school; (3) ensure that their schools develop comprehensive, school-wide plans of action to strengthen their college-going culture; (4) create or maintain a postsecondary access center in each school that provides information on colleges and universities, career opportunities, and financial aid options; and (5) provide a setting in which professionals working in college access programs can meet with students.

Directs the Secretary to provide technical assistance to grantees in calculating and analyzing their college-going rates and adopting best practices for elevating such rates.

Requires grantees periodically to evaluate the success of their grant activities and use the evaluations to refine such activities and their performance measures.

Directs the Secretary to conduct an independent evaluation of the grant program which includes an assessment of the program's affect on high school graduation and college-going rates.

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