April 19, 2010

Considering college in their own backyard

Twenty-three seniors in Baltimore’s public high schools have been offered admission to Johns Hopkins’ schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering for the upcoming academic year. As city residents, 21 qualified for the Baltimore Scholars program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to Baltimoreans who graduate from the city’s public schools and are admitted into the university’s undergraduate programs.

Ninety-nine students attending Baltimore City public schools applied for entry in fall 2010, which will mark the start of the university’s sixth academic year offering the Baltimore Scholars incentive. The inception of the program coincided with an uptick in applications from city high schoolers. Prior to the creation of the Baltimore Scholars program, applications from city students hovered around 20 to 50 per year. In 2005, the number of applications jumped to 121 and has remained at approximately that level ever since.

In total, 729 city high school seniors have applied to the university, 173 have been accepted, and 91 have enrolled since the Baltimore Scholars program began.

Ten of the city students admitted this spring are from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute; six from Baltimore City College; two each from Baltimore School for the Arts, Western High School and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School; and one from Digital Harbor High School. Four of the 23 are class valedictorians. The two Dunbar students, who qualified as Baltimore Scholars, are current participants in the Dunbar Hopkins Health Partnership, according to Kerwyn Barbour, coordinator of the partnership for Johns Hopkins Health System.

Nine students on the wait-list qualify as Baltimore Scholars.

The first class of Baltimore Scholars entered in fall 2005 and graduated in May 2009. To be eligible, the students must have lived with a custodial parent in Baltimore City for the last three years and must have been enrolled in a public high school in the city for 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

Like the rest of next year’s admitted freshman class, the city students’ responses have to be postmarked by May 1.