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.

Background shouldn’t determine futures.

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.

Our scholars are our proof.

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.

Generating Results

Leaven Scholar acceptance rate to highly selective schools offering rigorous academics and generous financial aid.
Average value of the four-year financial aid package awarded per Leaven Scholar for students matriculating in 2018 and 2019.
Average cumulative debt each Leaven Scholar is expected to pay following graduation.
Every Leaven Scholar has either graduated or is on track to graduate, on time and prepared for work or graduate school in their chosen field.