Founded in 1989, the Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams — Posses — of 10 students. Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships. A significant percentage of Posse Scholars are African Americans.
The Posse Foundation recruits high school students in cities across the United States. The foundation then places Posses of 10 students at its partner colleges and universities. Several partnership institutions admit two or more Posses each year. Since 1989 Posse students have received scholarships from partner institutions valued at more than $931 million.
Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has become a new partner with the Posse Foundation. A Posse of 10 students from the San Francisco Bay area in California will become Lehigh students next fall. The university hopes to add additional Posses of 10 students each year.
Morgan Volkart, associate vice provost at Lehigh University, said that “we want to provide access and opportunity to those students who may not, without the Posse program, know that Lehigh is a potential fit for them and some place where they could thrive and be a high contributor. So it really does change the life trajectory of these students and their families, given some of the backgrounds that they’re coming from.”
“As an institution, Lehigh’s priority is to diversify its student body in many different ways, geographically as well as socio-economically, racially and so on,” Volkart added. “Posse scholars can become a catalyst for developing Lehigh into a place that’s more welcoming.”