Bright Prospect launched its original selective Scholar Support Program in 2002 to guide outstanding low-income students to the nation’s top-ranked universities and colleges. Every student, recruited to that program at the end of their junior year of high school, matriculated to college, including 13 of the top 15 universities (among them Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT and Dartmouth) and 21 of the top 25 liberal arts colleges (including Amherst, Swarthmore, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Pomona and Williams). These Bright Prospect Scholars graduated college at a 95% rate, and over 25% continued on for advanced degrees.
In 2006, Bright Prospect launched a second program designed to have a deeper impact on our community by reaching a broader spectrum of students. Open to any student who wanted to join, the Academy of Young Scholars Program recruited students at the end of ninth grade and created a college-going culture on our high school campuses by educating these students and their parents about the importance and accessibility of a college degree. From 2006 to 2012, the success of the Academy led to a 10X growth in the total number of students we served, and more than doubled the number of qualified students admitted to our original, highly-selective Scholar Support Program.
In 2012, we merged our two programs into a single, unified Bright Prospect program, open to any student at the eight high schools we serve. Every Bright Prospect student receives college readiness programming, one-on-one coaching, application assistance, and ongoing mentoring from peers and professionals from tenth grade through college graduation. Approximately 20% of students in Bright Prospect attend private colleges and universities, 35% attend the University of California, 25% attend California State Universities, and 20% begin at community colleges and transfer to four-year universities.