Great Potential Goes Unnoticed Every Day
Too many talented students from vulnerable backgrounds fail to attend college, are grossly underrepresented at top colleges, or have limited success rates at four-year institutions. Even more tragic is that these students’ capacities remain underestimated, unnoticed, or underdeveloped. Vulnerable students are students who face one or more risk factors that may limit their chances of success. These risk factors include, but are not limited to: economic circumstances, remote geographic region (e.g., rural versus urban), minority status and ethnicity, and parental educational attainment.
Despite the broad array of college admissions and financial aid programs to promote a diverse student body, too many selective colleges fail to deliver on the promise of higher education to vulnerable students. In the current political and economic environment, outreach programs and focused efforts to promote higher education access among vulnerable groups have receded. Targeted intervention, however, remains necessary and valuable.
SMF promotes a culture of high expectations in conjunction with academic enrichment to bridge the expectations and achievement gap in higher education. SMF also places significant value on the development process rather than an exclusively result-based approach. SMF communicates to students that their life experiences are valuable and they possess perspectives that will enrich their chosen college environments, careers, and communities.
Over the past decade, SMF programs have prepared students for college admission and nurtured habits of mind that are essential for high achievement in diverse and complex learning communities. As a result, students who once had few college options are now offered admission and matriculate at some of the most selective colleges and universities in the nation.