While Minds Matter is comprised of a variety of programs and activities, its underlying mission is clear: to promote, support and facilitate higher education for high-achieving, low-income high school students across the nation. To ensure that Minds Matter reaches the most dedicated, talented, and deserving students, acceptance into Minds Matter is dependent on a rigorous and highly competitive application process. Students are accepted into the Program as sophomores in high school; the average incoming GPA is 3.4 (on a 4.0 point scale) and the average adjusted family income is approximated at $25,000. Many students are the first person in their family to attend college, and virtually none of them have parents who are college graduates.
Once admitted, students are assigned a pair of mentors with whom they meet weekly throughout the school year. The mentors and students work together to select summer programs and/or colleges and universities, prepare applications, create personal statements and essays, request letters of recommendation, and complete financial aid paperwork. Minds Matter also supplements mentoring sessions with program activities including writing workshops, summer program, and university panel discussions with admissions officers, and career-related panels.
All of Minds Matter’s sophomores and juniors attend academic summer programs at colleges and prep schools like Cornell University, Harvard University, and Philips Exeter Academy, as well as abroad in countries like Morocco, South Africa, and Spain. Because Minds Matter helps students apply for financial aid awards and raises funds to supplement financial aid, the program is no cost to the students, their families, or their schools.
Our success rate at Minds Matter is a true testament to the effectiveness of our Program: every student who has ever completed the program has been accepted into a four-year college or university. Our first two classes of students have enrolled in schools like Carleton College, University of Richmond, Gustavus Adolphus College, Purdue University, St. Olaf, University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, Loyola University Chicago, and American University!