High School Program

The aim of the high school program is to build a community of like-minded individuals and provide personal, academic, and social-emotional support for our scholars as they complete high school and prepare for college. The high school program begins the summer before the student’s junior year and continues through the completion of high school and the transition to college. Students who meet our eligibility criteria may apply during the spring of their sophomore year.


  • To facilitate each scholar’s exploration of their personal stories, dreams, goals, abilities, and interests
  • To develop a strong sense of community and camaraderie among our scholars and staff
  • To explore and anticipate challenges commonly experienced by students historically underrepresented in higher education
  • To guide our scholars through the college exploration, application, and selection process
  • To enable each scholar to form a relationship with a current/recent college student as a tutor and mentor
  • To assist our scholars in applying for financial aid and additional scholarships
  • To serve as a resource for our scholars and their families throughout high school and as they navigate the college transition process

High School Program Components

  • Weekly Academic Tutoring and Mentoring
  • Summer Retreat
  • Team-Building Activities
  • Life Skills Development
  • Career Exploration Opportunities
  • ACT Test Preparation
  • College Guidance Workshops
  • College Visits
  • Group and Individual College Transition Support

In addition to participating in the Simon Scholars Program, students also receive:

  • A laptop computer
  • Cash stipends in high school (up to $500/year)
  • Access to our network of college, scholarship and community partners
  • Up to $16,000 in need-based college scholarship funds


We hold our scholars to high expectations and work with them to develop the habits and skills needed to meet these requirements. Specifically, we expect all scholars to:

  • Actively participate in all program activities
  • Work to develop key academic skills and earn at least a 3.0 GPA each semester
  • Demonstrate and work to develop critical life skills
  • Demonstrate exemplary character and behavior at school and in the community
  • Graduate high school on time and in good academic standing
  • Apply for federal financial aid, institutional aid, and additional outside scholarships
  • Research and apply to an appropriate range of schools to ensure a good match
  • Enroll in a four-year, not-for-profit institution immediately upon graduation from high school


Simon Scholars receive support and guidance in developing the following skills:

  • Develop habits and skills needed to complete rigorous college preparatory coursework
  • Develop general study skills and test preparation skills
  • Improve writing and critical thinking skills
  • Develop college research strategies
  • Identify colleges that are a good fit (academically, socially, geographically)
  • Apply for financial aid & scholarships
  • Write an effective college essay
  • Explore potential areas of interest and study
  • Explore and anticipate challenges commonly experienced by students historically underrepresented in higher education
  • Navigate the transition from high school to college
  • Understand and anticipate what is expected of a student in college
  • Maintain commitment to earning an undergraduate degree, even when faced with challenges and setbacks
  • Identify opportunities to fully engage in campus life
  • Increase awareness of campus support services
  • Understand the importance of seeking guidance and support when needed
  • Time management
  • Professional communication
  • Public speaking
  • Etiquette
  • Financial literacy
  • Wellness and self-care
  • Decision-making
  • Listening and communicating
  • Self-advocacy
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-awareness