College Spotlight

Get to Know Brandeis University and the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program

No Comments 08 December 2016

Brandeis University, located less than ten miles from Boston, is dedicated to the humanities, sciences, and giving its students a well-rounded education. This institution has the unique distinction of being one of the youngest private research universities in the country. Brandeis brings professors fresh from the field or lab to undergraduate and graduate classrooms. This means that students have unmatched access to faculty renowned for research, scholarship and artistic output. Brandeis supports a curriculum with an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and problem-solving in the real world.

Students who demonstrate academic promise, leadership and resilience in life, but who have faced limitations in their precollege academic opportunities, are the perfect fit for Brandeis’ Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP). Each year, Brandeis admits 20 students through the Myra Kraft program and meets 100 percent of their calculated institutional financial need, as determined by income tax returns and the constraints of the university’s financial aid budget.

The mission of the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program is to provide eligible students with life-changing academic opportunities and to prepare them for academic success at Brandeis. It is structured around small class sizes, rigorous academics and personal one-on-one support. The Myra Kraft program students take a mix of Brandeis undergraduate classes, along with program-specific courses. These courses are intended to expose students to a type of rigorous academic experience they have not previously had.

Students interested in the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program must submit the necessary materials by February 1. You may also have the opportunity to schedule an interview on campus.

With a demanding curriculum and a commitment to a broad liberal arts education, Brandeis University prepares its students to fully participate in an ever-changing society. Brandeis’ students become well-rounded individuals and still remain deeply concerned about the welfare of others. To see if Brandeis University is the right fit for you, check out their College Greenlight profile!

Photo by Mike Lovett

College Spotlight

Greenlight Student Scholarship Opportunity: Gettysburg College’s STEM Scholars Program

No Comments 01 December 2016

Located in the world-famous town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, students can find Gettysburg College, a small, private liberal arts and sciences institution for 2,700 students known for excellence in academics.  Gettysburg boasts a student-faculty ratio of 10:1, and students attend a variety of classes on one of the most beautiful campuses in the U.S.  Gettysburg is also home to an amazing opportunity for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students interested in the STEM fields: the STEM Scholars Program.

The STEM Scholars Program, funded by the National Science Foundation, combines a monetary award (Gettysburg is guaranteeing to meet full demonstrated need with no loans) with multi-faceted support to accepted students entering the following STEM disciplines: Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Math, and Physics. Scholars will participate in a STEM-focused pre-orientation as well as enroll in an exclusive First-Year Seminar taught by STEM professors.  As classes begin, students will have the chance to participate in a number of activities, including a bi-monthly STEM luncheon with faculty.  Throughout the program, students will continue to receive an array of STEM-based opportunities including peer mentoring, faculty-student research opportunities, internships, and preferential residence in Gettysburg’s Science House.

In selecting members of this cohort, the college is especially interested in applicants from underrepresented backgrounds and first generation-students with demonstrated financial need. Students should also plan to enroll as full-time students in one of the previously mentioned STEM fields, and demonstrate financial need through their FAFSA and CSS Profile.  Students also must be U.S citizens, nationals (as defined in section 101(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), alien admitted as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or an alien lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.

Gettysburg will be holding a special STEM Scholar Program session during their Senior Open House on Monday, January 30th, 2017. Interested STEM Scholar eligible students should sign up here.

Gettysburg College and its STEM Scholars Program is a great fit for any first-generation, low-income, underrepresented student looking to major in the STEM fields.  Learn a little more about the scholarship and add Gettysburg to your list on College Greenlight!


College Spotlight

Get to Know Washington College and George’s Brigade

No Comments 07 November 2016


Washington College is passionate about the past and excited about the future. As the first college chartered in the United States, students are encouraged to connect to their roots and learn how history can relate to today’s issues. At the same time, the college offers challenging liberal arts coursework in its newly renovated facilities and encourages students to engage in “all hands on learning.” The college keeps tuition as low as possible and makes financial aid available to everyone who needs it to make sure all students can participate in their hands-on approach to learning.

The campus is located in the quaint Chestertown, MD, just 90 minutes away Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., allowing students to enjoy the benefits of both small town and city life. With an undergraduate population of 1,450 students and a student to faculty ratio of 12-to-1, Washington College is a tight-knight community with academic conversations that expand beyond the classroom.

George’s Brigade
The college understands the importance of learning, but also recognizes that not every student can readily access higher education. In order to narrow that gap, Washington College started the George’s Brigade program to attract and support high-ability, high-need students. Pioneered by the college’s president, Shelia Bair, George’s Brigade seeks to improve barriers to college access by addressing some of the biggest issues first-generation and lower-income students face.
In an effort to ease the transition to college, students are allowed to apply in groups from the same community or school. The college realizes that first-generation students, especially those from urban areas, may find the transition to a rural area and a small liberal arts school difficult. By allowing students to create a support system of friends and familiar faces, students will have a better chance at college success.

Another aspect of George’s Brigade helps to ease the financial burden on students who come from lower-income backgrounds. All accepted students will have 100% of their financial need met, including room and board. Additionally, students who do wish to take out loans for other incidentals will be required to cap them at $2500 a year in an effort to limit the amount of debt they graduate with.

Once students are accepted, they will also get to participate in a number of activities and programs to further support them on campus. Pre-orientation, for example, offers students the chance to give students unique experiences that bond them with their cohort through leadership activities and trips. Throughout the year, students will also participate in a mentoring program, cultural trips, one-one-one advising and more.

Students who wish to apply to George’s Brigade must be nominated by a counselor either connected to their school or community-based organization. They’ll be required to submit a standard Washington College Admissions Application, their FAFSA, and their counselor nomination form. Students who wish to apply for George’s Brigade with the Regular Decision timeline need to submit their materials by February 15th, 2017.

Washington College prepares its students for rich and fulfilling lives. The rigorous curriculum fosters a community of well-spoken, highly-motivated and diverse students. The surrounding historic areas encourage students to discover and explore cultures and communities other than their own. If you are looking for a college that will provide a lifetime of learning and leadership, Washington College is the place for you. Check out their College Greenlight profile!

Please email Cindy Childs (, Assistant Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid, with questions.

College Spotlight

Bowdoin Waives Application Fee for First-Gen Students

No Comments 29 September 2016

As an institution already committed to meeting 100% of a student’s demonstrated financial need without student loans, Bowdoin College has gone one step further to remove barriers to college for first-gen and low-income students.  As of earlier this month, Bowdoin has eliminated its application fee for students who apply for financial aid and for applicants who seek to be among the first in their families to attend college.

Now, all applicants who would be in the first generation in their families to attend college, regardless of their family income,  will be able to submit an application to Bowdoin without paying the fee. The fee would also be waived for any student seeking financial aid assistance from the College. Other applicants will continue to pay a $65 fee with their applications.

Bowdoin is one of only fifteen colleges in the country that is need-blind, does not require loans in aid packages, and also covers 100 percent of a student’s demonstrated financial need for all four years.

We encourage College Greenlight students and counselors to check out Bowdoin

College Spotlight

Get to Know More About Stanford University

No Comments 28 September 2016

What makes Stanford stand out from others students may be considering?

As a respected leader in both the sciences and the humanities, Stanford brings together extraordinary faculty members and students in the pursuit of excellence. Opportunities for discovery begin in the classroom and extend into the rich research life of campus laboratories, libraries, studios and beyond. Learning outside the classroom is also supported by a vibrant residential system that emphasizes service and community. Students may choose to participate in a vast array of educational opportunities, including undergraduate research programs, departmental honors programs, co-terminal programs and overseas study programs. Stanford has a strong commitment to diversity – about half of the Class of 2020 is made up of students of color and 15% of the incoming freshmen are the first in their families to attend college.

What support services or diversity initiatives does Stanford offer first-gen, low-income, and/or underrepresented students?

Early College Awareness Program & Outreach
Stanford’s Office of Undergraduate Admission partners with local and regional community-based organizations such as A Better Chance, Chicago Scholars, Cherokee College Prep Institute, College Horizons, College Match, College Summit, College Track, Foundation for a College Education, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Phoenix Scholars Program and QuestBridge. The Office of Undergraduate Admission provides guided campus tours and college information sessions designed to help students think about and prepare for the transition to higher education. The Office of Undergraduate Admission also offers college preparatory workshops in partnership with the following annual Stanford community conferences and programs:

  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society’s (AISES) College Life and Undergraduate Education for Interested Natives (CLUE-IN) Day
  • Black Student Union & Black Community Services Center’s Youth Empowerment Conference
  • Stanford Hmong Outreach Program Promoting Education (SHOPPE)
  • MEChA de Stanford’s Raza Day
  • Pilipino American Student Union’s (PASU) Kapatid mentoring program.

Learn more about Office of Undergraduate Admission

Academic Advising & Support
Academic advising is key to a successful undergraduate experience. Stanford offers a wealth of intellectual opportunities, both in and outside the classroom. The Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) helps you take full advantage of all that is available as you create your own unique path through your undergraduate career. UAR advisers work directly with you in one-on-one interactions to help you develop your scholarly interests before and after declaring a major, overcome obstacles to your academic success, immerse yourself in your chosen field, engage with faculty, take advantage of academic opportunities and resources outside of your major department and, for some students, prepare for post-baccalaureate study.
Learn more about Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR)

Student Life & Support
In addition to the faculty advisers that the Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) department assigns to all freshmen, Expanded Advising Programs work in conjunction with our campus community centers. Stanford’s community centers assist students in their success by offering additional resources and support networks, including:

  • Asian American Activities Center
  • Black Community Services Center
  • Diversity and First Generation Office
  • El Centro Chicano y Latino
  • LGBT Community Resource Center
  • The Markaz: Resource Center for Engagement with the Cultures and Peoples of the Muslim World
  • Native American Cultural Center
  • Women’s Community Center

Stanford’s ethnic-themed houses – Ujamaa (the African American themed dorm), Casa Zapata (the Latino themed dorm), Muwekma-tah-ruk (the Native themed dorm) and Okada (the Asian American themed dorm) – also all serve to offer community spaces that further these networks.
Learn more about Diversity at Stanford

Student Life & Support
Stanford’s mission is to support students as they evolve into leaders in a pluralistic world. Specifically, the Diversity and First Gen Office supports both the campus and academic life of first generation and/or low-income students through office initiatives and campus partnerships. It provides campus leadership for students, faculty and staff to consciously and actively affirm intersectional identities and foster intergroup relationships. The Diversity and First Gen Office also provides The Opportunity Fund, a grant for current students that is designed to financially assist undergraduate students who are experiencing a temporary financial challenge from a hardship or who are seeking funds for an opportunity related to their academic, professional, and/or social development. Learn more about Diversity and First Gen Office

What should College Greenlight students know about financial aid?

Students should know that our financial aid program is designed to ensure that their family’s economic circumstances will not prevent you from being able to enroll at Stanford. Stanford’s need-based financial aid program makes it financially possible for admitted students to attend. Our admission program is need-blind. This mean, for all domestic applicants, financial status will not affect the admission decision. Students whose families make less than $125,000 a year will, at minimum, have their tuition paid for by Stanford. Students whose families make less than $65,000 a year will have an assumed family contribution of zero, essentially a full ride. Over 70% of Stanford students graduate with no educational debt.
Learn more about Financial Aid at Stanford.


What do your institution’s campus and its surrounding area have to offer students? (Cultural opportunities, outdoor recreation, athletics)

The Stanford campus provides a variety of recreational opportunities. The community is able to go hiking at the Dish, appreciate the arts in our new Arts District, or visit the Stanford Shopping Center. Stanford also has two recreation centers on campus for students, and students are able to participate in intramural and club sports. Stanford is a Division I school, and is regarded as one of the top athletic programs in the country. Stanford students are also in the middle of the Bay Area, where they can reach San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose via public transportation. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, it is to no surprise that Stanford University is always buzzing with intellectual vitality and the entrepreneurial spirit.


What else should students and counselors know?

There are many students, from underrepresented and/or low income students who have come and made a huge impact on Stanford and then the world. However, there are far more who do not apply to Stanford because they believe that they would not be offered admission or afford tuition. We are here for those who dare to step out of their comfort zone and are committed to solving the world’s issues and better our global society. Admission to Stanford University isn’t only about GPA’s and test scores. Stanford looks for competitive AND compelling students, and we’re looking for all of the unique contributors to contribute to our campus community. Students should reflect upon their experiences in order to see what they’ve done in high school that they might consider to be above and beyond the normal high school experience.

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