Explore College Mentorship Programs
- Mentorship programs help students reach their full educational and professional potential.
- Many national scholarship programs provide winners with access to mentorship opportunities.
- Underserved, at-risk, and minority students may find especially high value in a mentor.
- Prospective mentors can give back and help future leaders by joining these programs.
Mentorship programs help lead students down successful pathways in many ways. Mentees learn to set and pursue realistic educational and professional goals, receive help filling out applications, and gain personal support during and after their studies.
Aspiring mentees should start looking for mentorship programs at their schools and other local organizations, and then expand their search to the state or national level. To aid in this process, we've listed some popular mentorship programs and provided details for potential applicants.
ACE Mentor Program
Started in 1994, the ACE Mentor Program supports high school students in their pursuit of careers in architecture, construction, and engineering. Comprising 70 chapters in 27 states, the program enrolls more than 10,000 students annually, connecting participants with over 4,000 volunteer mentors.
Student teams work with their mentors and take on actual roles within a design team, completing a 35-hour design project. Participants can also compete for more than $2.5 million in scholarships, visit construction sites, attend summer camps, and access industry internships.
ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program
Established by the American Library Association, the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program provides scholarship, learning, and mentorship opportunities for minority students in pursuit of a master's degree in library science. Applicants must plan to apply to a library science program or already be enrolled in one and have at least one year of study remaining.
Awarded to approximately 60 winners each year, this $5,000 scholarship comes with access to the Spectrum Leadership Institute during the summer, which provides professional development and mentoring resources. Spectrum Scholars can also join mentorship programs, such as opportunities offered through the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Dell Scholars Program
Each year, the Dell Scholars Program provides 500 students with $20,000, a laptop, textbook credits, and access to support services. As part of the award, winners can leverage the Dell Scholars online community and student resource network, which includes peer mentoring from program ambassadors.
Available support services include educational and career advice, financial guidance, and professional counseling. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate financial need and have a minimum 2.4 GPA.
Fashion Scholarship Fund
The Fashion Scholarship Fund provides over $1.2 million in annual scholarships to promising fashion students. The nationwide program begins with the Case Study Scholarship, which awards $7,500-$17,500 to more than 200 winners, who also gain access to career events, internships, and a mentoring program.
The FSF Mentor Program partners with over 500 mentors from major fashion organizations, allowing participants to learn from a mentor with firsthand industry experience. Applicants must possess a minimum 3.2 GPA and attend one of the more than 60 FSF member schools.
FIRST Scholarship Program
Created to inspire and support students interested in science and technology, the FIRST Scholarship Program gives out more than $80 million in annual scholarships from over 200 providers across the country. Applicants must complete the FIRST Tech Challenge or Robotics Competition to be eligible for awards.
Once participants graduate high school, they become alumni, which grants them access to scholarship funding, along with networking and internship opportunities. The FIRST network also includes experienced mentors and coaches, who can provide leadership, answer questions, and help students overcome challenges.
Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Founded in 1999 to support minority students, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program provides financial support to more than 1,000 students each year. Additionally, scholars enjoy access to the program's Academic Empowerment services, which include academic resources, internship opportunities, and mentoring services.
Mentors include program alumni who wish to give back and help the next generation of members become industry leaders. Student participants can join the Flash Mentoring Program for one-time skills development and career advice or partake in a topic-specific and peer-run mentoring circle.
GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
Since 2011, the GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program has provided more than $7.4 million to 185 award recipients. Winners receive a renewable $10,000 scholarship and gain access to an awards program, which includes mentorship and leadership development opportunities.
Available mentorship and leadership programs include a student leadership camp and a leadership semester in Washington, D.C. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate leadership qualities in their school and community.
Give Something Back
Give Something Back provides at-risk high school students with financial aid and access to a supportive mentorship network. Available to students from partner schools in seven states, the program has delivered 1,500 college scholarships and over $36 million in funding throughout its history.
At Give Something Back, volunteer mentors help students set educational and career goals. They also provide advice and listen to student concerns. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, academic proficiency, and strong character.
Golden Door Scholars
Founded in 2013, Golden Door Scholars provides financial support for undocumented students or learners with DACA or temporary protected status for which federal financial aid may not be available. The program boasts more than 430 recipients, who have received access to career services support, internships, and professional development opportunities.
Additionally, the Golden Door Scholars program connects winners with a mentor network for personal and professional advice and support. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma and must attend or plan to attend an undergraduate program.
HEAR Scholarship Foundation Mentoring Program
The HEAR Scholarship Foundation Mentoring Program provides first-generation and low-income students with mentoring opportunities and support. High-achieving students from the Chicago metropolitan area can also qualify for a $20,000 scholarship.
This mentorship program provides a specific mentor for each student. These experienced professionals offer advice and assist students with career and internship searches. The program connects scholars with their peers and members of their cohort, along with running various mentoring workshops and events.
Mentor Foundation Career Mentoring Program
Designed to teach aspiring underserved students the skills needed to thrive in a higher education setting, the Mentor Foundation Career Mentoring Program connects students with mentors to improve their educational and career outcomes. Students in the program may also access up to $40,000 in scholarships.
The mentoring program runs monthly sessions for 15-20 students, during which mentors help prospective students plan for the future and prepare for school and the workplace. Mentors also provide advice and help participants build communication skills and complete applications and resumes.
Founded in 1984, Oliver Scholars offers various support services for Black and Latino/a students from underserved communities in New York. Participants must be nominated, and approximately 100 students receive admission into the program each year.
Scholars can attend weekend classes and summer programs, college readiness workshops, and college and career counseling sessions. Mentors provide academic support, practical training, and leadership and community service opportunities.
At StudentMentor.org, more than 20,000 mentors and mentees across the country have connected to form meaningful relationships. Students from over 2,000 colleges use the program to improve their skills and prepare for the workplace.
Once students join, they can select a mentor from an extensive volunteer network. Mentors and mentees can choose the desired length of the mentorship and are matched based on their interests. Mentors can support students in many ways, including by building a student's character and communication skills.
Since 1991, Teammates Mentoring has enrolled more than 10,000 students in its school-based mentoring program. The program covers more than five states and 170 school districts, and has contributed to students receiving more than $3 million in scholarships.
Participants meet with mentors once a week to play games, talk about schoolwork, and chat about life — all with the goal of providing support for students. Members may also receive in-school support services and gain access to program coordinators to help them develop an educational action plan.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund | Walmart Foundation First-Generation Scholars Mentorship Program
The TMCF and the Walmart Foundation's First-Generation Scholars Mentorship Program connects first-generation higher education students with student mentors attending one of the program's 47 member schools. Mentors, who receive a $500 stipend for their services, must attend a historically Black college/university or a predominantly Black institution and possess a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Participants who sign up as mentees receive academic and career guidance, along with help adjusting to academic and campus life.
Established in 2015, UStrive helps students navigate the college and university landscape by connecting them with mentors who can help them make good decisions. The program provides access to mentors and helps learners complete college applications, apply for financial aid, and find promising career pathways.
Mentees can sort through a list of mentors and choose the most appropriate person to speak with. They can choose mentors who attended a specific school, studied a certain discipline, or work in a particular industry. Connections can take place over the phone or online, and participants can pick specific topics to discuss.
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