Once a Flaherty Scholar, always a Flaherty Scholar. Upon graduating from high school a Scholar becomes a part of a supportive network of Flaherty Scholar Alumni. Having a shared high school experience allows for a common bond that will last a lifetime. For Alumni currently enrolled in college, they are referred to as College Scholars. A Scholar can become a College Scholar at any point after high school graduation.
In 2018, realizing that previous alumni had accrued tremendous student loan debt, the FFF set an ambitious goal of having each Scholar graduate from college with as little debt as possible this includes getting through college as efficiently as possible and at the most affordable price point. Beginning at 9th grade orientation Scholars hear the importance of earning a college degree in four years or less and with $22,000 or less in student loan debt. This message is given throughout their four years in high school and is highlighted through their reading of Working Class to College: The Promise and Peril Facing Blue-Collar America. Scholars complete a book study which outlines strategies to chart a successful and affordable college career. When Scholars/Families have the information necessary they are equipped to make the best decision for themselves. The FFF is here to provide guidance so that Scholars/Families feel empowered to confidently make that decision.
How does the FFF help to support this goal?
- Messaging of goal begins in 9th grade and continues for all four years
- FFF Staff works collaboratively with the college counseling departments at each partner high school
- College readiness events and campus visits
- ACT/SAT test preparation opportunities
- One-on-One College Conversation with each Junior
- One-on-One Enrollment Conversation where financial offers from each school are analyzed to determine best financial offer
- Conversation where financial offers from each school are analyzed to determine BEST financial offer
- Ongoing communication and programing throughout the college process
The FFF is committed to supporting Scholars with access to an affordable college degree where they are able to graduate with as little debt as possible; the FFF has begun to establish partnerships with post-secondary institutions, college scholarship organizations, and foundations/donors that help us to make this goal a reality for our Scholars. Current partnerships include (list not comprehensive):
- Century College (White Bear Lake, MN)
- Concordia University (St. Paul, MN)
- Eastern University (St. Davids, PA)
- Hamline University (St. Paul, MN)
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College (Minneapolis, MN)
- Marymount University (Arlington, VA)
- Neumann University (Aston, PA)
- St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN)
- Stevenson University (Owing Mills, MD)
- Wallin Education Partners (Minneapolis, MN)
Ninety-five percent of Flaherty Scholar graduates immediately enroll in college; while in college, Scholars have an opportunity to engage with the FFF in a variety of ways including continued mentoring, meaningful programming, first-generation affinity group, leadership opportunities and a college scholarship opportunity. College Scholars are at more than 50 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.
Beyond college, scholars benefit from being a part of a robust network of Scholars who support each other and have opportunities to give back to the FFF in a variety of ways.
Are you a Flaherty Scholar Alum who is interested in reconnecting with us or simply want to make sure we have your updated information? If so, complete the contact form below. Be sure to connect with us on social media.