NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Belmont University’s Bridges to Belmont program is about to increase in size with the goal of having a multiplying effect on the impact the program has on Middle Tennessee.
The program started more than eight years ago with a charter class of 27 students. The Bridges to Belmont initiative was designed to provide high-need, high-achieving students from four Metro Nashville Public Schools full-ride access into a Belmont University education.
Since its launch in 2013, the initiative has grown to 34 students annually, and now will take a significant step forward to expand to 50 students per year.
Those students may now originate from one of 10 different local public high schools. In future phases, the vision is for Bridges to Belmont to expand to invite applicants from all public and charter schools in the greater Nashville area.
Currently participating in the Bridges to Belmont initiative are Stratford STEM Magnet, Maplewood, Whites Creek and Pearl-Cohn high schools.
For the upcoming recruitment cycle for fall 2022 enrollment at Belmont, applicants will now be accepted from an additional six local high schools: Glencliff, Hillsboro, Hillwood, Hunters Lane, McGavock and Overton.
The program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a 20 ACT score, though Belmont is also continuing to operate as test optional for admissions. Priority will be given to first generation, Pell Eligible applicants. Local students are encouraged to contact their high school guidance counselors for information on how to be considered for the Bridges to Belmont program.
As part of the planned program expansion, Belmont is also implementing new organizational reporting structures to increase focus on specific areas that might otherwise have had the potential to impede students’ persistence and growth.
A new “Student Success and Flourishing” initiative will be launched to provide academic and co-curricular support and will incorporate the University’s Learning Centers and GPS office, among others, to guide students’ transition into and throughout their college careers. The new initiative will also centralize efforts for on-boarding and supporting students transferring to Belmont from community colleges or other four-year institutions.
Currently, there are 123 Bridges Scholars enrolled at Belmont who collectively hold an average 3.41 GPA.
Many of these scholars are active student leaders holding executive board or chair leadership positions in a number of organizations, including the Black Student Association, Greek Life, HOPE Council, Student Government Association, Hispanic Student Association, Belmont Engineering & Robotics, Bruin Recruiters and more.
To date, Belmont’s investment in MNPS students through the Bridges to Belmont pathway exceeds $34 million.