At the heart of UST is the imperative to serve, especially those with limited access to educational excellence. With this in mind, UST launched the Rising Stars program in 2019, to provide crucial financial support and meaningful internship opportunities to first-generation students who would otherwise not be able to attend UST. Each participating student is connected to a corporate or nonprofit partner, allowing them to gain valuable experience and earn funds that are directly applied toward their tuition expenses.
Since its launch in 2019, the Rising Stars Program has grown exponentially from five students to more than 200. The University continues to break program enrollment records with each new class of freshmen, reiterating year after year that a program of this kind serves a great need for this specific population of students. The overall student retention rate has been more than 89%, a figure that more than doubles the national first-generation graduation rate of 42%.
The Rising Stars Program clearly provides first-generation college students with a competitive edge, plus access to mentors and exposure to a professional network they may not have experienced otherwise, all while ensuring they never have to compromise on their academic goals. UST is committed to forging relationships and creating opportunities that empower our students to succeed well beyond their time with us.