Posse Virtual Program.
Posse Virtual Program.

Posse Launches Virtual Program, Expands to Recruit Students from 20 Cities Across U.S.

Winter 2021 | National

The Posse Foundation has launched a major expansion initiative to recruit students from 20 cities across the United States. The new Virtual Program project was inspired by Posse’s successful transition to an online model in response to the COVID pandemic.

Until now, Posse has recruited students exclusively from Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, D.C., Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and New York. As part of the Virtual Program, 10 more cities have been added to the roster, including:

-select cities in Minnesota and Virginia

Through this new initiative, Posse aims to connect more high-achieving urban students from diverse backgrounds to first-tier institutions of higher education. Currently, seven highly selective colleges have signed on. They are:

-Centre College
-Cornell College
-Davidson College
-Macalester College
-Rhodes College
-St. Olaf College
-William & Mary

“This new model opens up many exciting possibilities,” says Deborah Bial, the president and founder of Posse. “Now institutional partners who sign on to the program will be able to select students from many more cities. Most important, we’re able to serve a greater number of highly qualified students and connect them to phenomenal colleges that better match their potential.”

“We’re able to serve a greater number of highly qualified students and connect them to phenomenal colleges that better match their potential.”

As a result of the pandemic, Posse was forced to shift from in-person operations to delivering programming entirely remotely. For the first time, students nominated for the prestigious opportunity were interviewed virtually last year. Scholars selected the year before also received pre-college training and campus support remotely.

Posse credits the overwhelming success of its adaptation to a virtual model for inspiring its latest effort to increase the number of students it serves. No longer limited by the need to open a physical office in a city, Posse can offer the opportunity to students in areas that historically have been beyond its reach.

Nominees for this Posse opportunity will take part in an online version of the Dynamic Assessment Process (DAP). Scholarship recipients will participate in Pre-Collegiate Training remotely as well.

While selection and training is conducted online, each Scholar selected virtually is admitted with a full-tuition scholarship and matriculates on campus alongside the general student body of our partner schools.

In addition to expanding the program’s reach, the new model will also change the composition of the Posse cohorts, which, to date, have consisted of 10 students from a single city. The new initiative will allow Posse partner colleges that sign on to recruit cohorts comprised of students from different cities. Each year, these geographically diverse cohorts will continue to be selected and trained virtually, even after the COVID restrictions are lifted.

This March, William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, will recruit their first Posse cohort from select cities in Virginia.

“We celebrate this new partnership with The Posse Foundation,” W&M President Katherine A. Rowe said in an announcement of the new partnership. “I’ve long admired Posse. They effectively identify students of extraordinary ability and enormous potential and support them to ensure they receive an education worth their merit. I know these students will reflect exactly the types of leadership qualities and ethos that typify the William & Mary community.”

Macalester College President Suzanne Rivera announced, “Macalester will be part of a small group of new college partners who will work with The Posse Foundation to expand the organization’s reach and impact. I see this new partnership as one element of our ongoing efforts to ensure Macalester is a campus that is welcoming to and supportive of all its students.”

Over the next few years, The Posse Foundation plans to grow the new Virtual Program to include 25 partner colleges. Combined with its current partnerships, the program will enable Posse to achieve a key strategic goal of recruiting 1,000 students annually and supporting 4,000 students on campus each year.