Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good fit for Oliver Scholars?

An ideal candidate excels academically, is involved in a range of extracurricular activities, is eager to be a leader, and understands the value of community service. Oliver provides support and academic enrichment that prepares our Scholars for success in competitive independent school, college, and professional environments. Oliver offers Scholars continuous support throughout middle school or high school, to ensure they succeed at their independent schools, and to give them the tools they need to matriculate into the college that best fits their talents and interests.

Do you help with the independent school application process?

Yes! We provide one-on-one counseling for families during the placement process, and also host regular workshops to educate families on financial aid and independent school life. Equally important are the strong ties we cultivate with almost 80 partner schools, working closely with them to open the doors to opportunity for our scholars.

How do I apply to Oliver Scholars?
Parents, teachers, and counselors may nominate candidates who meet the eligibility requirements during the fall of seventh grade. Motivated students may also nominate themselves. The deadline to submit nominations for Oliver's 2018-2019 cycle is January 15, 2019. Students must be nominated before they receive an invitation to apply for admission.
How much does it cost to be an Oliver Scholar?

Oliver Scholars is a free program for students. We rely on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund all of our programming.

What is the time commitment to be an Oliver Scholar?

Students accepted into Oliver are required to participate in our 14-month Scholar Immersion and Placement (SIP) program. SIP is designed to develop the academic, social, and leadership skills each Scholar needs to thrive in an independent school environment, as well as to prepare them to successfully gain admission to a top independent school.

SIP consists of a five-week summer program (Summer Program I) between seventh and eighth grades, including one week at a boarding school, weekly classes during eighth grade, and a second five-week summer program (Summer Program II), including one week at a boarding school, between eighth and ninth grades.

Summer Program I is an intensive five-week preparatory course specifically designed to develop the academic and social skills of rising eighth graders. The program is held at a local independent day school for the first four weeks; the final week is held in-residence at a boarding school.

During eighth grade, students take weekend classes and attend leadership and career-oriented events. Students are guided through the independent-school application and interview process, and are prepared to excel academically and socially in an independent school environment.

Rising ninth graders participate in a second five-week summer program. The program emphasizes strong academic, social, and leadership skills that together help ensure a successful transition to life at an independent school.

Candidates accepted to be part of Oliver must complete the entire SIP program. By completing this program, the student is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead when enrolled at a leading independent school. Successful completion of the program requires good attendance, strong academic standing, proven motivation, a strong desire to learn, as well as a positive attitude.

Who funds Oliver Scholars? How can I support the organization?

Oliver Scholars relies on contributions from private individuals, foundation, and corporations to provide wraparound educational access services to high-achieving Black and Latino students. The organization does not receive any public funding. You may make a donation today through our Donate page. If you know of any individuals, corporations, or foundations that may be interest in supporting the mission of Oliver Scholars and/or you would like to learn more about all of the organization’s philanthropic initiatives, please contact Juliet Buder, Oliver's Director of Development: jbuder@oliverscholars.org.