Caltech is committed to enrolling the best and brightest STEM students from across the world to engage deeply in an interdisciplinary research and education environment that advances scientific breakthroughs and builds knowledge that benefits society. Talent has no boundaries, and the best STEM students come from all backgrounds, experiences, and geographic locations, and we have a responsibility to ensure that these students see Caltech as an option. To that end, we engage in outreach efforts, programs, and partnerships that facilitate engagement with students who may not already be aware of or interact with the Institute.
STARS College Network
The Small Town and Rural Students (STARS) College Network is committed to working with high schools and access organizations to widen pathways to higher education for rural and small-town students and create a more comprehensive approach to college access through partnership. Sixteen of the nation's most prominent universities and colleges, including Caltech, have teamed up in a new effort to help students from small-town and rural America enroll in, succeed at, and graduate from the undergraduate program of their choice.
This new college access model aims to bridge the gaps in access that currently exist. Member institutions are dedicated to piloting new programs for students, college advisors and counselors, and access organizations in order to bring the nation's best and brightest, no matter where they live, to a school that is the best for them. The Network provides students with access to a wide variety of pre-college programming at member institutions, ongoing support in their college search process, and a streamlined application process that breaks down many of the barriers these students face in accessing opportunities in higher education. All programming is free to students who register with STARS.
Member institutions of STARS will support efforts including:
- Pipeline programs that bring students from rural communities and small towns to campus over summer break to help them prepare academically and for college life
- On-campus events for prospective students from rural areas and small towns, including flying students in from their hometowns
- Expanded visits by college admissions staff to high schools in small towns and rural communities
- Support for students in the college application process, including workshops and sessions designed to help students throughout their college search
- Scholarship funds for students and help applying for financial aid
- Fly-in and virtual programs for counselors, teachers, and administrators from rural and small-town high schools, to help them better support their students on the path to college
- Creating ambassador and mentor roles for current students, faculty, and staff, to promote a campus community that welcomes and supports students from small-town and rural America
- Partnering with local and national businesses to provide internships and job opportunities for the next generation of rural and small-town Americans
Partnership with Khan Academy and Schoolhouse
STARS is also teaming up with Khan Academy and the non-profit tutoring platform Schoolhouse to offer a free, online math curriculum and peer tutoring for students in small towns and rural communities, leading to certification of mastery in calculus — an important credential for admission to more selective colleges and universities (including Caltech) that is not available from all high schools.
To contact Caltech about our admission process, contact Melissa Rodriguez, the Caltech STARS College Network liaison, at [email protected] or call +1 626-395-6341.