Nine months after the initial announcement of Bridges to Belmont the university has made plans to expand the pilot program in its second year.
An additional 30 Metro seniors will be selected as scholarship recipients and will join the current 26 students in the program next fall. But, this year, participants can now come from Whites Creek and Pearl Cohn. The program initially was only available to seniors at Maplewood and Stratford.
“The Bridges to Belmont program is a life-changing opportunity for our students,” said Metro Schools’ Director Dr. Jesse Register. “They know with hard work, they can achieve their dream of a college education. It is an investment in their future and the community, and we appreciate everyone at Belmont who has worked to develop and expand this program.”
Bridges to Belmont was created as a “deliberate effort on the part of Belmont’s administration to enhance the cultural and ethnic diversity” on campus while also continuing efforts to provide opportunities for higher education in Davidson County.
“At the heart of Belmont’s mission is our desire to provide a transformative education to our students in the hopes that they can then take their skills, passions and talents and make a difference in the world around them,” said university President Bob Fisher. “I honestly can’t think of a better example of us living out that mission than what we are doing with the Bridges program. I’m thrilled to have these local students as part of the Belmont community.”
Bridges was designed to enroll high potential students from Metro Nashville Public Schools who may not have previously been able to consider Belmont as an option. As a participant all of the students’ expenses, including tuition, room, board, required fees and books, that are not covered by state or federal grant resources are covered in the form of a four-year scholarship. Belmont has estimated that the scholarships could amount to a potential investment of over $10 million in the first four years of the program.
To qualify for the program, preferred candidates for the program must be nominated by the high schools’ administration and faculty, take college prep courses, hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher in core academic courses, demonstrate leadership experiences at their current schools and provide strong recommendations regarding academics, personal character and demonstrate significant financial need.
Application deadline for students of the eligible schools are due Dec. 16.