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Oliver Scholars Program

  • Oliver Scholars Program
  • 80 Maiden Lane
    Suite 706
  • New York, NY 10038
  • 212-430-5980
  • 1984

Program Description

The Oliver Scholars Program identifies and engages extraordinary New York City students of African and Latino descent and prepares them for success at leading independent high schools and prestigious colleges. Our community of educators, mentors and peers encourages and promotes scholarship, service and leadership throughout the student's educational career. We provide crucial support for both the Scholars and their families to address the challenges of this transformative journey.

The Oliver Scholars model prepares our target population of Black and Latino 7th Graders from working class, and middle class families, to embrace the challenge of learning at the accelerated pace expected of them by the finest Independent Schools. We reach out to public schools and community-based organizations throughout New York City to solicit nominations of students that actively pursue knowledge and demonstrate the potential for additional growth.

Placement of each Scholar in a school that provides the right learning environment for their personality and desired goals is of the utmost importance. That is why we view parents as such a critical factor in our success. We maintain open lines of communications with our families, cultivating relationships, providing resources, and working hard to support their child's efforts.

The Summer Immersion Program (SIP) a five-week, full-time, education enrichment course is where students learn to become Scholars. This year it will be held at Leman Manhattan Preparatory School starting July 5th, and finishes up with a week at the Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire.

  • SIP I serves students entering the 8th grade offering Algebra I, English, History, and Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) Prep. These courses help our young people build their knowledge base and improve their study habits. All SIP I participants take a practice SSAT exam before the program begins and improvements of 20-30% in their scores are routinely recorded by 9 out of 10 students.
  • SIP II is for rising freshmen accepted into an Independent School. The curriculum includes Algebra II, Geometry, English, History, Introductory Biology, and Introductory Physics.

We also offer: the In Our Own Voices, a Scholars facilitated leadership training conference; Career Day, graciously sponsored by our friends at Barclays Capital, provides guidance on resume writing, creating a pathway to pursue one's goals, and even developing a personal elevator pitch; and Community Service Day, where our young people come back together from their respective schools to work as a team on a project.

Our dedicated staff--four of whom are Oliver Alumni--complement the rigorous academics and skills building efforts by working closely with our young people and their families, along with their academic advisors at school. Every Scholar walks with confidence that the Oliver team has their back, and is ready to do whatever it takes to help them succeed.

Success Stories

The Oliver Scholars Program has graduated over 800 African American and Latino students from top independent high schools and universities.

  • Since the Oliver Scholars Program's inception in 1984, 97.6% of Oliver Scholars matriculate to college. This is three times the national rate for African Americans and four times the rate for Hispanic Americans.
  • 99.5% of Oliver Scholars matriculated to college in 2004-08.
  • 86% of Oliver Scholars attended the Top Colleges and Universities as characterized by US News & World Report.
  • 34.6% of Oliver Scholars enroll in Ivy League universities compared to the national average of 0.32%.
  • Upon graduation from their independent schools, each class of Oliver Scholars will have completed over 6,000 hours of community service, much of which is conducted in the underserved communities in which Scholars reside.
  • 55% of Oliver Scholars enter the following professions: education, not-for-profit, social service, government, public policy, law and healthcare.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation


Race & Ethnicity

  • Hispanic/Latino: 57%
  • Other: 2%
  • African American: 39%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 150
  • Middle School: 50
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically High-performing


  • Between 50% and 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Brown University (58)
  • Columbia University in the City of New York (49)
  • Harvard University (51)
  • University of Pennsylvania (80)
  • Wesleyan University (68)
  • Yale University (25)

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 100%