Updated: Oct. 15, 2015 at 9:07 a.m.
A new partnership with a foundation that offers full-tuition scholarships to groups of students from Atlanta will bring 10 of those students to GW next fall, the University announced Wednesday.
The Posse Foundation sends groups of students to college together to give the students a built-in support system, as well as mentors who meet with them once every two weeks for the first two years of college – both features that experts have historically said help students who might struggle in a college-environment succeed.
Students who participate in the Posse program have a 90 percent graduation rate, according to the foundation’s website. University President Steven Knapp said this fall that ensuring students stay and graduate from GW is one of his top priorities this year.
At the beginning of each academic year, “the Posse Atlanta team and GW staff will identify students who they believe can excel at the university. A three-part selection process offers students an opportunity to demonstrate their leadership abilities, skill at working in a team setting and their motivation to succeed,” according to the University release.
Low-income students drop out at higher rates than their wealthier peers, but the Posse Foundation works to increase retention by sending staff to check up on the students three times a year, as well as connecting them with on-campus mentors and each other, according to the release.
Last month, the University announced a partnership with a similar organization, the Say Yes Foundation, which offers scholarships to low-income high school graduates from its three chapters in New York and North Carolina.
Peer institutions like Boston, Northwestern and Vanderbilt universities have also partnered with the Posse Foundation are peers like Boston, Northwestern and Vanderbilt universities. The Access and Success Task Force, which Knapp created nearly two years ago, recommended the partnership as part of a broader University focus on accessibility.
In July, the University adopted a test-optional policy in an effort to encourage more minority and low-income students to apply to GW.
This post was updated to reflect the following corrections:
The headline incorrectly stated GW will bring 10 Atlanta students on full scholarships. They will bring 10 Atlanta students on full-tuition scholarships. The Hatchet also incorrectly reported that students in the Posse program have a 90 percent retention rate. They have a 90 percent graduation rate. We regret these errors.