Supporting Unconquered Scholars
A Little Background...
Since 2012, Florida State University’s Unconquered Scholars Program has provided an array of support services designed to promote the well-being of students who have experienced foster care, homelessness, relative care or ward of the State status. Many program participants faced profound hardships during childhood that dramatically increase their risk of leaving academia without a degree. Research suggests only two percent of former foster youth graduate with a bachelor’s degree compared to approximately 25% of their non-foster care peers.
Graduating high school and attending a post-secondary institute is a testament to the Scholars’ remarkable resilience, determination, and commitment to make a better life for themselves. Many of the students do not have a forever family to rely upon for emotional, financial, and academic support during college and life after graduation.
The Scholars do not let themselves be defined by statistics and have exceeded the academic performance of the general student body at Florida State University by achieving a ninety percent graduation rate and average grade point average of 3.02. Our goal is for each Scholar to enter adulthood poised to receive the professional and personal benefits associated with educational attainment.
Please join the Scholars on their journey to becoming proud Florida State Seminole graduates!
"The Unconquered Scholars Program gives students like me a place to be with other people who 'get it' and celebrate our strengths and resilience...we are there for each other, we are a campus family."
- Michael Dixon-Peabody, 2016 Graduate
Unconquered Scholars At-A-Glance
Students previously classified as foster care, homeless, ward of the State, or relative care
Almost 300 Students
95% Overall Retention Rate
84% 4-Year Graduation Rate
2.9 Average College GPA
Ways to Support Scholars
Unconquered Scholars Program
Award Fund Endowment: $25,000 (minimum)
Many Unconquered Scholars lack a "forever family". They have no one to turn to when a financial crisis arises. By setting up an award fund to assist Scholars with financial issues related to housing and meals, transportation problems, and emergency medical issues, the program will be positioned to address unmet needs critical to maintaining overall well-being and retention of Scholars.
Unconquered Scholars Program
Alternative Family Weekend Trip: $15,000 (annually)
Family Weekend is one of the most difficult times of the year by Unconquered Scholars. As the campus fills with loving parents, many Scholars feel emotionally distressed and alone, and are reminded of past trauma. Many report difficulty concentrating, as well as feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can impair academic performance. To combat academic and emotional fallout, Scholars participate in an educational weekend away from campus filled with opportunities for students to explore culture, architecture, and history, and engage in experiences they may never have had in the past. They key is to get students off campus and help mitigate negative emotional stress.
Year-Round Housing Support
$11,500 (per scholar)
When residence halls close, Unconquered Scholars may not have a place to go to sleep. As a result, they may be effectively homeless during the Winter and Summer seasons. Unconquered Scholars seeks to help students have permanent, safe, and secure housing by providing funding for on-campus housing throughout the year.
Unconquered Family Events
An important component of college includes connecting with peers. This helps socialization and academic success. The Program hosts activities throughout the year to help students develop peer connections and feel a part of the FSU campus community. Activities include group dinners, tailgates, trips to the FSU Rez, and other outings in the Tallahassee community.
Health Insurance Coverage: $2,300 (per scholar)
Health insurance coverage is required at FSU. Unfortunately, many Scholars do not have parents able to provide insurance. As a result, students may go without. Helping a Scholar by providing health insurance through the University will enable them to continue their education while helping them be proactive in their healthcare needs.
Fall/Spring Meal Plans: $2,000 (per semester)
Food insecurity is a pressing issue for Unconquered Scholars. When a student is hungry, they may not be able to focus on what it takes to be successful in class. By providing a meal plan to Scholars, students gain access to healthy, daily meals, and allows them to focus on earning their college degree.
Donations to the "Snacks & Skills Shelf"
Being hungry can disrupt a student's ability to focus on being successful in class. Unconquered Scholars provides students with access to a food pantry. Donations of nonperishable food items are accepted throughout the year.
Other Ways to Support Unconquered Scholars
- Textbook Assistance (to help offset the costs of college textbooks): $350
- Laptop Computers (help scholars gain access to technology to be successful in college): $1,200
- Educational Supplies Assistance (help scholars purchase supplies needed to ensure their success in the classroom): $200
- Personal Items (help scholars purchase personal items such as soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc.): $50-75
- Internships (help scholars gain skills in their planned career paths)
- Amazon Wish List (allows a quick method to support Scholars educational and basic living needs)