program recruits city's ‘best and brightest'
of Baltimore City public high schools all too often bypass TU when
making plans for college. But a recently launched pilot program
hopes to put this campus back on their proverbial radar screens.
Beginning this spring, TU's Top 10%
Scholars Program will offer a number of incentives to snag these
students' attention—and, it's hoped, their applications.
The pilot program focuses
on students graduating in the top 10 percent of their spring 2005
senior classes at Baltimore's public high schools.
“We're focusing on the
top graduates from college preparatory programs,” says Lonnie McNew,
associate vice president for Enrollment Services and co-chair of
the committee that developed the program. “Our stated enrollment
goals include improving diversity and enrolling more students with
very strong high school GPAs, " he said. "We want these
students to consider TU, and we hope this program will make that
decision easier for them."
McNew points out that out
of TU's fall 2004 freshman class of about 2,100, a mere 25 are graduates
of Baltimore City public high schools. “That's unacceptably low,”
“We feel we have an obligation
to reach out to these students—working closely with Baltimore City
is an important part of our Metropolitan University mission.”
The Top 10% Scholars Program
will offer the targeted group automatic admission, as well as a
$4,000 annual scholarship. In addition, many of the students may
qualifiy for additional scholarships and need-based financial aid.
“These are not loans,” McNew emphasizes. Those who maintain acceptable
grades may continue to renew the package for up to four years, he
The university also will
make an extra effort to ensure the students receive the academic
and social support services they may need to thrive at TU. “We're
committed to providing excellent follow-up,” McNew says. “We want
to make sure they're actively involved in the campus community.”
McNew says the university
hopes to enroll 40 to 50 Top 10% Scholars for fall 2005, with the
number eventually rising to 100 or more each year.
And while TU's official announcement—in
the form of a letter to high school principals—won't be mailed for
another few days, he says news about the Top 10% Scholars Program
has begun circulating in city public schools.
“There's a lot of excitement,”
he says. “We've already had many inquiries.”
by Jan Lucas/Photo by Sofia Silva
[back to main article index]