Lafayette and The Opportunity Network are entering into a partnership that will provide admission to the College and financial support each year to a select group of academically gifted, low-income New York City high school students.
Founded in 2003, The Opportunity Network is a six-year nonprofit program designed to identify, prepare, and support high-achieving, underserved high school and college students by creating access to career opportunities, professional networks, and competitive colleges. Starting in sophomore year of high school, OppNet Fellows participate in weekly after-school sessions of career exploration, networking and professional etiquette training, and intensive college advising and preparation.
This is the first partnership of its kind for the network. Lafayette currently has OppNet Fellows, but those students were recruited on an individual basis. The College plans to admit three to six OppNet Fellows through the partnership each year and provide a scholarship to meet their full financial need.
The initiative is one of many reflecting Lafayette’s commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive campus community, one of the goals in the College’s strategic plan.
“Lafayette College is honored to become the first college to enter into a formal partnership with The Opportunity Network,” says Greg MacDonald, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Sharing a common mission and values, this partnership will allow students to benefit both from an outstanding organization and a world-class liberal arts college within 90 minutes of their home in New York City.”
The fellows will be identified by The Opportunity Network based on demonstrated interest in Lafayette and meeting the College’s admissions criteria. The network will provide individualized college counseling before and after admission and assist with submission of application and financial aid materials on an annual basis.
First-year OppNet Fellows will be paired with a Lafayette student through the network’s peer mentoring program. They also will receive support in obtaining summer internships for each of their four years at the College. In addition, Lafayette and The Opportunity Network will host a series of workshops and networking events focusing on college and career success.