Meritus College Fund, the San Francisco based program that for twenty years has been providing low-income Bay Area youth opportunities for college entrance and success, has announced a new educational partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula (BGCP). The new alliance will extend the Meritus College Fund mission to support college success of youth from low-income backgrounds on the Peninsula. Most students will be the first in their families to attend college, emphasizing the exciting promise of this new alliance.
In 2105, BGCP introduced College Bound, its college success program to increase college matriculation rates for first generation low-income youth in East Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and Redwood City. The BGCP College Bound program recruits high school juniors who hope to attend college, but do not have the resources and support needed for the admissions process.
BGCP Vice President of Clubhouses, Jeff Feinman, spoke of how excited BGCP is with the new partnership; “BGCP is thrilled to partner with Meritus College Fund and be part of its exciting expansion to Silicon Valley. Our students will benefit from scholarships to help off-set the rising cost of college, in addition to the rich suite of personal, academic and career supports that Meritus extends through to college graduation. Wins all-around!”
Since 1996, Meritus College Fund has continuously provided a comprehensive, highly involved program dedicated to guiding low-income San Francisco youth through college graduation by giving support, coaching, mentoring and scholarships so students know they are not alone or without the guidance they need to navigate their way through college.
Meritus has positively impacted 681 students and provided $8.6 million in scholarship aid. But even more that those amazing statistics, Meritus College Fund has been there for each and every one of the students providing individualized college coaching, career development, and ongoing support for each student, beginning in the students’ final semester of high school.
The Meritus College Fund is there with an ultimate goal of socio-economic mobility of local youth from low-income backgrounds, yet with determination and motivation as key characteristics to achieve future success in spite of extremely difficult circumstances in their young lives.
Meritus serves low-income students who, although facing daunting challenges, nevertheless achieve high school GPAs of 3.0 – 3.7, which is a quite an accomplishment for each student. These are motivated, hard working youth, are deserving of the all-around emotional and financial support Meritus College Fund offers. According to Meritus College Fund, “Throughout its history, Meritus has grown consistently, now serving 250 students in all phases of their college careers, and is on track to achieve its plan to serve 360 students each year by 2020.” Meritus adds, “Meritus Scholars graduate from college at a rate of 88%, far exceeding the national graduation rate of 56% for students from all backgrounds, and the 23% graduation rate for low-income students.”
The statistics are impressive to note: Meritus College Fund reports, “Upon graduating from high school, Meritus Scholars enroll at the following universities: 40% at University of California campuses, 32% at California State Universities, 18% at private out-of-state colleges, and 10% at private in-state colleges.” The proof is in the graduates.
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