Immensitas (pronounced immense-it-tas) is Latin for “boundless” and signifies the unlimited potential of every youth, as well as the life opportunities available to those with a college degree.
Under Pennsylvania’s Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program, tuition and fees for undergraduate degrees at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania are waived for youth in foster care to reduce financial barriers.
The $1.8 million Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program will cover room, board and expenses such as books, computers, essentials for dorm living, while simultaneously leveraging an extensive support system for participants.
“Education can make all men and women equal regardless of what neighborhood they are from or what their economic start in life was like. Unfortunately, access to educational opportunity is not equal. These scholarships are a small way to try and even the scales of opportunity.”
Brook J Lenfest
Supports will include academic advising, a summer bridge program, housing and meals during school breaks, financial and money management guidance and a designated liaison at each school.
The largest component of the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program is a two-year pathway to an associate degree at Harcum College for 80 students annually through a partnership with I-Lead’s ACE (Achieve College Education) program.
Under the Harcum/I-Lead partnership, two community-based locations will provide services to support participants in completing their degrees. Delta Community Supports, Inc. in Glenside is the first of two locations. The second site is being developed with Project Home.
Twenty scholars will also be funded, annually, at three additional colleges:
- Five scholars at Penn State University’s main campus
- Five scholars at West Chester University
- Ten scholars at Penn College of Technology, which offers associate degrees.
To be eligible for the Lenfest Immensitas Scholars Program, the applicant must have been served by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services at any time since their 16th birthday, earned a high school degree or GED and must qualify under the Chafee federal grant program for foster care participants.