By Don Krim
If not lining up around the block! The application process opened early for this incoming class. COVID be damned–JA is in the early stages of its most exciting time of the year! This year saw JA’s largest application number ever: 270 which was double that of 2019. For 2021 we have already received over 200 submissions for round one of our revised five-round, highly competitive, targeted process. Of those, more than 70 qualify to move on to round two.
Who are these 70 entering round two? They are all San Miguel de Allende residents, regardless of where they go to school, either coming fresh out of high school or first-year university students. They have high grades and economic need; they are young adults still in the formation stage; they are either the first in their family to strive for university or are in the first generation within their family to attend university (parents did not go to university, but perhaps a sibling has.) Whether ultimately admitted to JA or not, each of these students strives to reach a level of education that will forever change their and their families’ social mobility, and by extension their lives.
Whatever the field of chosen study and eventual career path, these young scholars choose higher education. They choose their goals and their path. JA is here to help them at every step of the journey if accepted into the program and to dramatically improve their chances of success. JA assists with financial support, with a mentor, with a computer, with psychological support, with a network of current and graduate students, with an auxiliary skills program and network, and with love, commencing at the start of their university experience all the way through final credentialing payments. JA is justifiably proud of our track record of 85 percent success.
According to the OECD (2017), just 26 percent of the college-aged population of Mexico completes a university degree. Those that do earn on average 80 percent higher salaries, their jobless rate is half that of their peers, and they are 50 percent more likely to be in the formal economy.
What does it take? JA has an entry profile and an exit profile for a student. The journey in between is why JA is here: to support these students throughout their academic career, nurturing the seeds of potential they display as very young adults, helping them bloom into more fully formed citizens as they enter the professional workforce.
With community support, more than 25 final applicants will enter JA’s program. JA supports its students principally through individual sponsorship. Every student has a financial sponsor who commits to the student’s five years (on average) of education, including professional internships and licensing. These commitments are blind, with no personal connections, however after student and sponsor are matched, of course sponsors can meet the student their funds support. Sponsors must commit before we accept a student. Want to see how many sponsors we have so far, and get the latest info on the number of applicants?