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The Meritus Model
Meritus is a holistic college success program aimed at low-income, high-achieving high school seniors from the Bay Area who have been accepted into a four-year college. With Meritus, Scholars are connected to individualized advising, mentoring, and professional development support, as well as a substantial scholarship to offset the costs of college. This holistic approach, framed by Scholars’ resilience and determination to succeed, has resulted in an impressive 88% graduation rate.
Each of our Scholars receives a $14,000 scholarship to offset the costs of attending a 4-year college or university. Our scholarship is disbursed directly to Scholars, biannually, throughout the course of their college journey.
Once accepted into the Meritus program in the late spring of their senior year in high school, Scholars participate in a series of group workshops, and one-to-one advising sessions to ensure they are prepared and confident about starting their first year in college. Scholars receive support and guidance on a range of topics, from study skills and time management, to understanding financial aid and the basics of budgeting, to finding community on campus.
College Success Advising
Each of our Meritus Scholars works with one of our professional advisors on-to-one throughout their college journey to ensure that they not only stay focused and on track, but maximize their college experience. Regular check-ins with advisors help students prepare, set goals, and reflect on the challenges of college.
Scholars receive coaching on the fundamentals of career development from Meritus advisors, and have regular opportunities to participate in networking and skill-building events hosted in conjunction with local corporate and community-based partners. In addition, Meritus provides access to dozens of paid internship opportunities each summer in leading and cutting-edge organizations and companies in the Bay Area. A key component of the Meritus program is to ensure that each of our Scholars build the skills and experience they need not only to graduate from college, but to transition into a fulfilling and successful career after graduating.
The Meritus Community
Upon acceptance into the Meritus program, Scholars are welcomed into the broader Meritus community, with ample opportunities to connect with our current scholars, staff, donors, and alumni. Many of our scholars have found life-long mentors through connecting to our broader community.