BSGE Seniors Andrea Joseph, Ivan Pereda, Kyle Diangkinay, and Ricardo Aguayo have already received full tuition scholarships to college by receiving highly competitive, esteemed awards.
Andrea Joseph received a full scholarship to Vassar College through the Quest Bridge College Match program (http://www.questbridge.org), the first BSGE student ever to win this prestigious award. Her scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, books, and a work study job with a total value over $200,000.
Ivan Pereda, Kyle Diangkinay, and Ricardo Aguayo received full tuition scholarships through the POSSE program (http://www.possefoundation.org): Mr. Pereda to University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Diangkinay to Wheaton College and Mr. Aguayo to Brandeis University. Each POSSE scholarship also includes full tuition with the total awards varying by school.
Several of BSGE’s past graduates have also received Posse scholarships. Some of the more recent recipients include three students in the class of 2011, Oliver Ponce, Karina Rhem, and Mathew Grey, (https://thebaccrag.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/full-college-scholarships-for-some-bsge-students/), and one student from the class of 2010, Sarina Strohl.
Ms. Joseph’s Quest Bridge College Match Scholarship is a first for BSGE. The Quest Bridge Program is designed to provide a “bridge” between “under served youth and leading institutions of higher education.” The organization provides many different college application and preparation services and programs in addition to scholarships.
When describing the process, Ms. Joseph said it was “painful, stressful, nerve-wracking and time-consuming, yet undoubtedly worth it.” She added that receiving the scholarship validated the “years of gruesome work, sleepless nights, and social sacrifices.”
Upon hearing his admittance to the Posse program, Ivan Pereda said “I was very emotional because me and my parents didn’t always think I would go to college. “ He added that “this scholarship will help me be more confident when I get to college.”
Ricardo Aguayo said, because of this scholarship, college will now be “much less of a financial burden.” He continued, “I don’t want to boast but it’s nice to know that out of thousands of applicants that I was one of the most qualified.”
The program tries to identify students who have excellent academic and leadership skills who may be overlooked by the usual college selection processes and sends students as a group, or posse, of ten students to a college or university to act as a support system for each other in addition to helping students receive scholarships from their schools.
When discussing the value of the program, Kyle Diangkinay explained, “besides the money, the idea of having academic mentors and support is something you can’t put a price on.”
To be considered for the scholarship, students need to be nominated by their high school or community based organization. In years past, the school was given the ability to nominate ten students of its students but this year schools’ nominations were decreased to eight. Students nominated must be in their senior years of high school and demonstrate both leadership and academic potential.
Once nominated, students must make it through three rounds before receiving early admission to colleges they have been matched to and receiving scholarships.
Students not admitted through the POSSE can still be considered for regular admission at those same schools. Last year, Kimberly Tran, a POSSE finalist at Babson College, did not get into the POSSE program was admitted to the school and given a $160,000 scholarship.
When commenting on the college application process in general this year, comparing it to years past, College Counselor and Community Service Coordinator, Peter Wilson said that this year’s students have been applying to more challenging programs and schools than in years past and that there has been an upward trend in this regard over the past few years. Often students would apply only to the very best schools and CUNY’s but now they are applying to other great and competitive programs like the Macaulay Honors program among others.
(You can read more articles on the topic in the BACC Rag’s “College” archives)