Although the achievement gap is narrowing at the K-12 level, barriers to college enrollment still continue to exist for many traditionally underrepresented groups. Supported by a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, the Balfour Scholars Program (BSP) is a free program for high school juniors designed to help cultivate student academic and career development as well as minimize misperceptions about affordability, unfamiliarity with higher education, and difficulties with cultural adjustment that prevent students from successfully matriculating and graduating from college.
This program is designed to maximally benefit students. On a fundamental level, the program teaches students how to become a stronger scholar, manage finances, choose an academic major, and evaluate career options that best suit their interests and abilities. Additionally, the BSP takes student development further by connecting Scholars with mentors and helping them to not only succeed, but to become a leader. However, we understand that students are interested in more than just academics. Therefore, the BSP introduces Scholars to the social aspects of college life and shows them the student clubs, campus events, and cultural activities that college has to offer.
Once accepted as a Balfour Scholar, students attend a five-day residential visit to Indiana University-Bloomington. Academy students will participate in informational sessions and activities to develop their abilities to make informed and personalized decisions regarding their collegiate and career paths. Then throughout their senior year, students will continue to receive mentoring and access to resources to help make the transition to college a smooth one. The analytical skills learned through this program are transferable in nature and will allow students to leverage resources on any campus.
"My expectations and outlook on college has changed tremendously since I came to participate in Balfour Pre-College Academy (BPCA). I was once hesitant about my ability to succeed in college away and even from home. I was not familiar with the ins and outs of the college experience [while at BPCA] I learned more about myself, who I am now, and who I hope to be as well learning to distinguish what institution is best for me and why. "