Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Making a Hard-Life Story Open a Door to College

This looks like a great program.  It's exactly what KIPP and other top schools do for their kids to help them get into top prep schools and colleges.

Antoine is a B student at struggling Crossland High, in Prince George’s County, Md., where most of the 1,700 students are black and more than a third are living in poverty.  He is a youth leader in his church, but he is not an academic star. He  is not one of the handful of students from high schools like his whose numbers attract the attention of diversity-minded college admissions officials. The other seniors with him at Howard had B and C averages.

But his high school’s selection of him for the College Summit program, which teams up with both high schools and colleges, substantially increases his odds. The workshops, which 1,500 low-income seniors across the country will attend this summer, are part of College Summit’s effort to extend the college-going culture beyond the middle  class.
The colleges that play host to the workshops and are eager for more low-income applicants get a first look at the portfolios of the students.
These are the  “better-than-their-numbers students,” said J. B. Schramm, the  Harvard <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/harvard_university/index.html?inline=nyt-org>   Divinity School graduate who founded College Summit 14 years ago. They have talent and academic potential not revealed by their SAT  scores and grades, Mr. Schramm said. Seventy-nine percent of  students who go through the workshops enroll in college, he said, while   nationally fewer than 50 percent of low-income students do.  
With the application process itself one of the biggest obstacles, he said, many students do not even apply to college. Their parents cannot help them navigate the process because for the most part, like Antoine’s parents, they did not go to college  themselves.


Making a Hard-Life Story Open a Door to  College

By SARA RIMER <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/sara_rimer/index.html?inline=nyt-per>  
Published: July 27, 2007

WASHINGTON — Antoine Tate, 16, was sitting in  a courtyard at Howard University in the heat of a July morning. He was holding a pen, and staring at the blank page on the step beneath him.

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