Fast Facts


Judi Alperin King, Ph.D.


November 24, 2014

Not for Profit Status

The Wily Network is an IRS-approved 501(c)3 charity.

Long-Term Goal

To improve college graduation outcomes for independent students at four-year residential college programs by establishing the Wily Network on college campuses in Greater Boston.  The Wily Network provides intensive and extensive services in each student’s college community.

Immediate Goal

To continue to develop formal partnerships with local colleges and increase the number of Wily Scholars.

Who We Work With

Wily Scholars are college students whose families are not able to support them through college. They are foster care alumni, legally homeless young adults, and students who for other reasons are navigating college without a family.

Estimated Costs

The Wily Network expects to spend about $50,000 per student over a four- to six-year college program to provide support services as needed. (The costs of attendance, including tuition, room and board, are not covered by the Wily Network.)


The Wily Network employs one-to-one coaching, supplemental financial assistance, community programming, and networking to support students as they

  • transition to college
  • navigate all stages of college life, from orientation through graduation
  • identify and secure year-round housing
  • address any health and food security issues
  • build their community.

Wily coaches work directly with students on campus at each college and utilize outside resources through the Wily Network home office. The Wily Network assists students in securing academic counseling and reinforcement; helps students develop and leverage personal networks and secure financial assistance; and ensures that they have year-round housing, food security, and health care commensurate with that of their college peers. Staff are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Wily Network Provides

  • on-campus trauma-sensitive coaching
  • supplementary financial support as detailed in The Wily Network Agreement
  • community-building and networking opportunities.

Why the Name “Wily?”

The name The Wily Network recognizes the journey of students aging out of the foster care system, or for other reasons reaching college without a family to support them, and transitioning to life on a college campus.

These young adults have needed to be Wily in order to gain college admission without the support of a permanent family. To reach college, these students have often had to be single-minded, strategic, and focused on their own path. As they transition into college life, they face the challenge of integrating their existing skills into a new environment and developing new skills.  All students need a Network to thrive in college and must learn to rely on the strength of their community, to have interdependent relationships, and to utilize the resources available to them on the college campus and beyond.

The Wily Network is committed to honoring existing Wily skills and to supporting scholars by creating a dynamic Network to ensure their success in college and beyond.


Because of Wily, I feel more confident in myself. Because of Wily, I have materials to clean myself. Because of Wily, I have a laptop that works, a phone that works. Because of Wily, I have encouragement to be my best self and to do the things that help me become my best self.


Scholar, Northeastern University