Economically disadvantaged high-achieving students are often unaware they can gain admission to, afford or fit in at the nation’s most selective institutions.
They default to schools well below the arc of their potential. It’s a brain drain called “undermatching.” And it limits the amount of gifted, motivated and valuable talent available to business, science, technology and industry.
“In the U.S., high-achieving students in the bottom socioeconomic quartile are only one-third as likely as their intellectual peers in the top socioeconomic quartile to attend a highly selective college or university. Yet, these premier schools have the resources to offer smaller class sizes, more academic and social support, better financial aid, and stronger career services and alumni networks, all leading to higher graduation rates and improved post-graduation outcomes.”
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, True Merit, Ensuring Our Brightest Students Have Access to Our Best Colleges and Universities, Analysis of U.S. Department of Education Data, 2016.
Leaven knows that low-income, high-achieving students have the ability to thrive at top-tier colleges and universities. We believe they will manifest what they learn in ways that bring enormous benefit to society. But first, they need to get there. Then, they need support to flourish there.
In Sarasota, Leaven is making these exceptional students the rule.
A comprehensive program of college guidance and support, from late 10th or early 11th grade and extending through college graduation, makes a difference.
Access to more challenging coursework, mentoring, hands-on learning, service and leadership development makes a difference.
Selective, better-fit schools with generous financial aid and academic and social support make a difference.
One student — then one thousand, then more — makes a difference that takes us all forward.