How USC helps high-achieving, low-income students get into top universities

The Bovard Scholars program brings in high-achieving, lower-income high school students from all over the country and gives them a chance to study and receive admissions and financial aid advice from experts. (Photo/Stella Kalinina)


How USC helps high-achieving, low-income students get into top universities

Bovard Scholars program helps high schoolers see their potential with an all-expenses-paid immersive university experience

August 03, 2018 Ron Mackovich-Rodriguez

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USC’s Bovard Scholars come to campus from around the country for an all-expenses-paid, three-week immersive university experience. The program, now in its second year, takes on undermatching — the tendency of high-achieving, lower-income students to shy away from applying to top-tier universities.

Bovard Scholars receive expert admissions and financial aid coaching, along with career exploration and guidance. The support continues, at no expense to the students, throughout their senior year of high school. The program doubled in size this year, bringing 98 scholars to the University Park Campus, where they were housed at USC Village’s McCarthy Honors College.

65 percent of Bovard Scholars headed to top schools

In its first year, 65 percent of Bovard Scholars were admitted to top 25 universities including Harvard University, Columbia University and Stanford University; 18 of those will attend USC in the fall. The majority, 86 percent, were awarded grants and scholarships covering full tuition.

“Bovard Scholars filled the void,” said Betsayda Puerta, a first cohort Bovard Scholar who’s headed to Stanford in the fall. “I was able to learn about top-tier universities I deserve to apply to.”