How To Apply
Each year, we recruit a new group of motivated high school students at the end of their freshmen year to comprise a new class of Minds Matter. Minds Matter pairs each of these students with two mentors. Over the course of the next three years, these mentors work with our students to ensure that they reach their full academic potential.
We are looking for students going into their sophomore year with a strong GPA (3.0+) who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Often, these students are from low-income families and/or single-parent households, and are potentially the first in their family to attend college. We rely on high school guidance counselors, administrators, and teachers to identify and nominate students. Once nominated, students complete an application that includes short answers, essays, and teacher recommendations.
In May of each year, we have an Open House for freshmen students who wish to learn more about our Minds Matter programs. Interested freshmen students, parents, guidance counselors, and teachers are invited to this Open House where they can meet with current mentees and mentors in the program and ask questions about the application process.
The applicants must adhere to the following program requirements:
- Attend Minds Matter Saturday sessions, 10:30AM-2:30PM during the school year.
- Attend academic summer program (tuition provided) at a college to gain better understanding of the college experience and broaden educational horizons.
- Commit to three years of program participation, working with two mentors.
Minds Matter application due: The Minds Matter online application must be completed by Friday, May 13th 2016
Application received notification: Friday May 20, 2016.
Phone interview scheduling: Between May 20 – May 23, 2016, a Minds Matter Representative will email applicants to schedule a phone interview.
Phone interviews: Between May 23 – June 6, 2016, a Minds Matter Representative will call applicants at the time of his or her scheduled interview.
Decision notification: By Monday June 13th, 2016, applicants will be notified of their Minds Matter acceptance status.
Information for admitted students
Regular sessions will be held on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 2:30 pm during the school year at Roosevelt University, located at 425 South Wabash Ave, beginning in early September 2016.
Please contact Minds Matter Chicago Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the requirements to be accepted into the Minds Matter program?
A: Minds Matter is looking for students who:
- Will be enrolled in Grade 10 at the start of our program and interested in pursuing a college education
- Demonstrate strong academic potential, motivation, maturity, time management and responsibility
- Maintain an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
- Are active in extracurricular and/or community activities (part time jobs included)
- Qualify for free or reduced lunch
- Would benefit greatly from a summer academic experience
Q: What is the cost of the Minds Matter program?
A: Minds Matter helps students apply for financial aid awards and raises funds to supplement financial aid. Thus, the program is of no cost to the student, his/her family, or school.
Q: When is the application deadline?
A: Applications must be received by Friday, May 13th, 2016 for admission the following fall.
Q: How and when are students notified whether they were accepted into the program?
A: Students will be contacted by telephone shortly after they submit their application, and a phone interview will be scheduled. Students will be notified of admissions decisions before the beginning of the school year.
Q: How often and where does the Minds Matter program meet?
A: Minds Matter sessions are held on Saturdays from 10:30AM – 2:30PM during the school year. Sessions are not held on holidays or during school vacations. Currently, we meet at John Marshall Law School and Roosevelt University, both of which are easily accessible via public transportation.
Q: What process is used to match Minds Matter students with their mentors?
A: Minds Matter takes mentor/mentee matching very seriously. Volunteers and students are asked a series of questions during the application process to assess interests, areas of strength, and areas of improvement. This input allows the Directors of Mentors and Mentees canto do their best to ensure a good match and overall experience for everyone involved.
Q: Do students stay with the same mentors throughout their entire Minds Matter experience?
A: Ideally, a mentee will have the same mentors throughout the entire program. Minds Matter does its best to assess each volunteer’s availability and match accordingly. We do understand that “life happens,” and sometimes we experience turnover due to unforeseen circumstances such as job changes, relocation, and graduate school. Luckily, Minds Matter is growing on a national level and we often see volunteers join a different chapter should they move to another city. In fact, most of Minds Matter’s chapters were started in other cities by volunteers who had to leave New York because of work and school commitments.
Q: What criteria are taken into consideration when matching a student to a summer program?
A: In early spring, Minds Matter mentors begin work behind the scenes with the summer programs. Based on each student’s attendance, commitment, and involvement in Minds Matter and the scholarship money offered to each student, we work to place each student in a summer program. Students are notified of their placement in April and May.
Q: What kinds of summer programs do Minds Matter students apply to?
A: Minds Matter sophomores apply to a variety of academic summer programs at colleges, universities, and prep schools around the country. Minds Matter juniors have the option of applying to academic summer programs abroad.