High school girls from traditionally underserved communities now have one more tool to help them complete college because of the recent partnership formed between Lycoming College and a Los Angeles-based teen mentoring program called Motivating Our Students Through Experience (MOSTE).
MOSTE provides Los Angeles area students from middle school through high school with professional mentors and workshops that give them the skills needed to achieve educational goals. The majority of MOSTE girls are the first in their families to go to college and come from families that might not seek a private college education due to financial constraints. Two MOSTE students have enrolled at Lycoming College this fall.
“This agreement inks our commitment to making sure all students have access to a solid education,” said Lycoming College President Kent C. Trachte, who signed the memorandum of agreement with MOSTE in early November. “We are looking forward to having more high-performing individuals from the program join our campus next year.”
MOSTE students bring strong academic and co-curricular high school records, and not only meet, but often exceed the high standards for acceptance that Lycoming College has. However, once on campus, they will be offered additional mentoring and support services needed to ensure they can transition well, and complete their education. They also will be provided additional financial aid to help minimize debt levels upon graduation.
According to Lycoming’s Financial Aid Office, students from families with incomes low enough for the federal government to establish their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) for tuition at $0 have borrowed nearly $8,000, on average, in first-year loans. Statistically, these students are also more likely to leave college because of financial concerns.
“Our goal is to make sure our students graduate from college at rates well above the national averages of their counterparts,” said MOSTE President Mary Forgione. “With Lycoming College already retaining about 77 percent of students from financially challenged families, we know we’re in good hands.”
The national average for private schools retaining freshmen into their sophomore year — regardless of their ability to pay — is just 71 percent.
According to MOSTE Board Member Cindy Lopez Esq., MOSTE girls who have attended private colleges have close to a 100 percent graduation rate.
“We also appreciate their holistic approach to reviewing applications that considers the unique character, background, and leadership potential of all students,” Forgione said.
The partnership is one of several the college has formed to serve high-performing students who historically have been limited in college access. Lycoming College also has formed partnerships with the Noble Network of charter schools, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) charter school network, Yes Prep charter schools and Say Yes! to Education.
The mission of MOSTE is to empower girls from underserved areas of Los Angeles County to become the next generation of college educated women. The organization’s vision is to be an agent of positive change and successfully graduate all of the girls from 4-year colleges, preparing them for professional careers and positions of leadership within their communities, www.moste.org.