Why is there a Simon Scholars Program?
Our nation's future depends greatly on the education of our young people. The Simon Scholars Program is about better preparing students who come from difficult life and economic circumstances and providing the support they need to successfully complete high school and attain a bachelor's degree.
Who does the Simon Scholars Program help?
The Simon Scholars Program helps disadvantaged students coming from tough life circumstances who have a strong desire to earn a college degree.
Where do Simon Scholars chapters exist today?
Currently Simon Scholars chapters are located in California, New Mexico, Georgia, and Washington DC. A nationwide expansion of the Simon Scholars Program is currently underway.
What are the founding principles of the Simon Scholars Program?
The Simon Scholars Program has 5 principles upon which it was founded:
- Respect is earned, not given
- Self-esteem comes from personal achievement
- Education creates opportunities, not guarantees
- Success is measured from within, not on a balance sheet
- Opportunity denied is tragic, opportunity wasted is inexcusable
Will there be other partnerships?
Yes. The Collegiate Partner Program has been established in which leading colleges and universities throughout the United States will offer financial aid and preferred admissions considerations to Simon Scholar applicants.
What is the commitment from the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing?
Currently the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing awards in excess of $3 million annually in new scholarships. As part of the national launch of the Simon Scholars Program, other philanthropic individuals, corporations, and foundations are being sought to fund the Simon Scholars Program by sponsoring chapters in their own communities.
What are the expansion and partnership goals for the Simon Scholars Program?
The ultimate goal of the Simon Scholars Program is to have sponsored chapters operating and giving scholarships in cities throughout the United States.
Will the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing work with other foundations?
Absolutely. Partnerships with other philanthropic individuals, foundations, corporations and government entities will be sought including community foundations, existing scholarship foundations, college endowments and family foundations looking to start up a scholarship program.
Who founded the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing?
The vision for the Simon Scholars Program came from Ronald Simon, founding chairman of the Simon Foundation for Education and Housing. A son of immigrant parents, he found success in this great country by working hard and developing a company culture that always refused to accept the status quo while firmly believing that everything can ultimately be improved through hard work, dedication, determination and education. Ron Simon achieved great business success by applying these principles and now chooses the Simon Scholars Program as a means of giving back in a meaningful way.
What does it take to start a new Simon Scholars chapter?
Contact the national headquarters in California for details at (949) 270-3644 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can an existing nonprofit or for profit corporation start a Simon Scholars chapter?
Yes. The Simon Scholars Program encourages existing charitable foundations and corporations as well as individuals to underwrite a chapter to become a Simon Scholars chapter sponsors.
What is a Simon Scholars chapter sponsor?
A chapter sponsor is a charitable foundation, corporation or individual philanthropist who has established a Simon Scholars chapter in their own community. The chapter sponsor has naming rights to honor a specific person or organization, such as the Smith Foundation Simon Scholars Program. The Simon Scholars Program offers chapter sponsors a turnkey program including all required policies and procedures, documents and forms, training, on-line data management system, and administrative support comes with the sponsorship of a Simon Scholars chapter.
Where are the current Simon Scholars chapters located?
Current Simon Scholars chapters are associated with qualified Simon Scholar high schools located in three states and the District of Columbia.
What is a qualified Simon Scholar high school?
In order to become a qualified Simon Scholar high school, a school district representative, the high school's principal and the high school's counseling staff must agree to certain terms and conditions established by the Simon Foundation. The requirements of the key high school administrators are a key component to the successful operation of a Simon Scholars chapter.
How many students are in a Simon Scholars chapter?
Each Simon Scholars chapter begins with a minimum of 8 incoming high school juniors. By the sixth year of the program, a total of 48 students will participate in each mature chapter. The chapter is considered fully populated when there are 8 students at each academic level, beginning in the junior year of high school through the senior year of college. Some chapters could be larger based on population, need and funding structure.
How can I support the Simon Scholars Program?
There are several opportunities available for individuals, charitable foundations and corporations to support a new or existing Simon Scholars chapter in their community. To learn more about how you can become involved, contact the national headquarters in California for details at (949) 270-3644 or email@example.com
Collegiate Partner Program
What are Collegiate Partners?
Collegiate Partners are colleges or universities that agree with the Simon Scholars Program mission and recognize Simon Scholar students as stand-out examples of potential incoming freshmen. Collegiate Partners offer financial aid and enhanced visibility and consideration to Simon Scholars applying to their respective universities.
How does the Collegiate Partner Program benefit Simon Scholars?
The Collegiate Partner Program creates the link between Simon Scholars during their high school years and institutions of higher learning. By having a network of Collegiate Partner institutions, students can focus on applying to schools that understand and appreciate their achievements in the Simon Scholars Program and thereby increase their chances of success in college.
Is the Collegiate Partner Program only associated with the Simon Scholars Program?
Yes. The Simon Scholars Program developed the Collegiate Partner Program to help bridge the transition from high school to college entry and collegiate academic life. Institutions that become Collegiate Partners become a unique part of the Simon Scholars support structure that begins when the student enters the program in their junior year of high school.
What are the benefits to university or college partners participating in the Collegiate Partner Program?
Simon Scholars fit the exact profile that universities want and need students from difficult life and economic circumstances (mostly minorities) who have the drive, determination and ability to not only reach college but to stay in school and achieve a 4-year degree.
What is required to become a part of the Collegiate Partner Program?
In order to become a part of the Collegiate Partner Program, the college or university must agree to provide financial aid and special or enhanced admissions considerations to Simon Scholars. For more information, click on "Collegiate Partners" above.
What are the steps to become a Simon Scholar?
Students apply for the Simon Scholars Program in the spring of their sophomore year in high school. Students must have a 2.5 minimum grade point average to apply and they must come from difficult life and/or economic circumstances. Following verification of application information, a selected number of students are then reviewed by a panel consisting of school administrators, community leaders and Simon Scholars staff members.
What are the academic requirements to remain a Simon Scholar?
Once selected as a Simon Scholar, students must achieve a minimum 2.7 GPA for the first semester of their junior year in high school and a minimum 3.0 GPA for all high school semesters thereafter. In college, students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing with their college. College students must also maintain full-time status during each academic year.
What are the other requirements to remain a Simon Scholar?
Once a student becomes a Simon Scholar it is that student's responsibility to continually adhere to conduct requirements as defined by the Simon Foundation. In addition Simon Scholars will be required to fully participate in Simon Scholars Program events and life skills workshops offered during high school.
What is the typical profile of a Simon Scholar?
A student determined to succeed in the face of difficult circumstances; one who is committed to hard work to achieve at least a 4-year college degree; a student determined to become a productive member of America; a student committed to giving back and making a difference in the lives of others by being a great role model.
What do Simon Scholars receive once they enter the program?
The Simon Scholars Program begins in the summer before the students' junior year of high school. Students receive the following benefits (subject to change):
Junior and Senior Years of High School
- Direct support from and interaction with Simon Scholars Program administrators
- Cash stipend
- SAT- and/or ACT-prep courses and academic tutoring
- College tours
- College preparation coaching
- Life skills, leadership and teambuilding activities
- Community service activities
- Simon Scholars Awards Event which includes opportunities to network with the business community
- Mentoring opportunities
Once students are accepted into a college or university they are eligible for:
- $16,000 need-based scholarship to help meet unmet need after available grants and academic scholarships
- Preferential admission consideration, financial aid opportunities and college provided supportive services at colleges participating in the Collegiate Partner Program
- Opportunities to participate in community service activities
- Mentoring and internship opportunities
- Support from the Simon Scholars Program Member Network across the country
- Continued participation in Simon Scholars activities
- Alumni Association of Simon Scholars
What other benefits do Simon Scholars gain?
To become a Simon Scholar is to become a part of the family of students and alumni who make up the Simon Scholars Program. This support structure of like-minded, motivated individuals not only enhances academic advancement and provides a support structure during your academic years but also lays the foundation for a network of friends and associates who support one another in their respective careers and life journeys. In this way, everyone has the opportunity to give back and to become a part of something larger than themselves. The real success of the program comes when those being helped today are those who can help others tomorrow.