EY announced on Tuesday that a record 350 underprivileged high school students graduated from itsCollege MAP (Mentoring for Access and Persistence)program this year, with 97% of those students going on to attend a two or four-year college in the fall. The firm awarded close to half a million dollars in scholarships to these students in 2015 and 100% have received federal or state financial aid.

EY also expanded the MAP program to four new cities this year –Minneapolis, MN;Raleigh, NC;St. Louis, MO; andWashington, DC, in partnership withMcLean, VA– bringing the total number of locations offering MAP to 30.

The firm additionally launched the College MAP Collegian program this year to support college students who completed the College MAP program during their high school years. The goal of the program is to make certain that once students enter higher education, they are able to thrive and complete college, with EY mentors on-hand for insight. Many EY mentors are familiar with the obstacles that face underserved high school students - the firm estimates that about one-third of mentor personnel in the US are first-generation college graduates.

"Lack of higher education is the single biggest contributor to unemployment for young people," saidDeborah Holmes, EY Americas director of corporate responsibility, in a statement. "The College MAP program strives to reduce youth unemployment by helping underserved students achieve their dream of not only getting into college, but graduating as well."

The College MAP program began in 2009, with the non-profitCollege for Every Student, to help young adults ages 16 to 24 connect with opportunities that can prepare them for financial success and a rewarding career. The program assists students in navigating the college application and financial aid process, while providing students with access to academic resources and exposing them to the lifelong benefits of a higher education. Since College MAP launched, over 1,025 students have graduated from the program.  

"College For Every Student is honored to partner with EY in College MAP over the last six years," stated Rick Dalton, CEO and president of College For Every Student. "What EY has accomplished in helping low-income students move to and through college is extraordinary, and a model program for businesses and corporations across the globe."

For more on the MAP program, head to EY's sitehere.