High Potential Program
The High Potential (HP) sets the standard for academic excellence and leadership development at Saint Mary’s College of California
Launched in 1973, HP provides comprehensive support services to first-generation and/or low-income students. Students who apply to be part of the program participate in activities and community-building to develop their leadership, academic, and professional skills. Participants receive intensive, hands-on guidance from dedicated Success Coaches and student peer mentors throughout their time at Saint Mary’s and, depending on financial need, may receive financial support through tuition and textbook scholarships.
Workshops and Trainings
HP students participate in events that support their academic, professional, and personal growth, including graduate school information sessions, professional development, and mental health practices.
All HP students who continue to make academic progress and are in good standing with the program will receive priority/early registration.
All HP students are assigned a Success Coach in the program for monthly individualized coaching sessions to help ensure steady progress toward academic, social, and personal goals.
First Year Support
First Year Advising Cohort
Incoming first-year HP students enroll in HP FYAC. This class sets a foundation for high academic and personal achievement. Faculty assist students with essential academic skills like time management and study habits.
Summer Academic Institute for Leaders and Scholars
First-year HP students are invited to participate in SAILS, a two-week summer residential program with activities and classes that focus on academic development and bonding with HP peers.
Peer Mentor Program
First-year and transfer HP students are assigned an HP Peer Mentor that offers academic, personal, and professional support throughout the students’ first year at Saint Mary’s.
All HP students receive support filling out their FAFSA and participate in financial literacy training through the financial aid office.
Tuition and Textbook Scholarships
HP students that demonstrate financial need and are in good academic standing are eligible for grant aid of up to $2,500, and each semester HP provides more than $10,000 in textbook scholarships.
Each year eight HP students are selected to receive $2,500 scholarships in honor of HP alumni and Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali ‘96.