The Telementoring Program at Amherst College
WHO ARE THE TELEMENTORS?
Telementors are full-time Amherst College students who have been extensively trained in admissions and financial aid procedures for first year students. They also have real-life experience with the process—and know what it’s like to be from diverse backgrounds.
“My senior year in high school was really stressful. I didn’t think I would end up getting in anywhere that I wanted to go and, if I did, I didn’t know how I would pay for it. Then there was the work of writing all those application essays while trying to do well in AP courses. The Telementoring Program would have been great for me. I’m glad I now have the chance to help lessen the burden for someone else. Students from low-income backgrounds need to know that it’s very, very possible to go to a prestigious college.”
—Telementor Claire Rann, Riverside, Illinois
“One of the most gratifying things about the Telementoring Program is that it helps students find a college where they’ll feel at home. My mentees have a lot of questions about selecting schools, especially concerning the differences between a college and a university. I know that it’s hard to find the place that suits you. I had never heard of Amherst College before my senior year; I only found it when searching for colleges that offered political science majors, a major I had intended to pursue. I can say without doubt that financial aid made it possible for me to come here.”
—Telementor Ashley Armato, Mount Sinai, New York
Applications for telementees are no longer available for the 2014-2015 school year. Nomination for the Telementoring Program is conducted in partnership with QuestBridge's College Prep Scholarship program.
NO MATTER WHERE YOU DECIDE TO APPLY, AMHERST COLLEGE CAN HELP.
As one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, we know firsthand what the best colleges look for in a student. We know that your potential—not your ability to pay—is the key to accessing a world-class education at highly selective colleges and universities. In turn, these schools offer unparalleled resources and open doors to opportunities around the globe. To make sure that you find the best colleges and to help you navigate the application and financial aid processes, we invite you to join our Telementoring Program. The program, which is free, will connect you to trained mentors who come from backgrounds similar to yours. All mentors are Amherst College students. Many of them are the first in their families to attend college—all of them needed substantial financial aid. They’re available to help you research colleges, complete applications, and select the offer that’s right for you. You’ll communicate with them by e-mail and telephone.
HOW CAN TELEMENTORING HELP ME?
Telementoring addresses four stages of the first year college application process:
- COLLEGE SEARCH: Telementors can help you discover what’s out there, including schools that you might not even know exist. They can help you decide what you’re looking for in a school and teach you how to assess which ones match your interests and personality.
- APPLICATION: Telementors can assist you with all aspects of the application process. Their expertise ranges from how to construct a strong application essay to how to obtain a fee waiver.
- FINANCIAL AID: Telementors help you navigate the FAFSA, PROFILE and other financial aid applications. They also can help you interpret and compare financial aid offers, including loans and scholarships.
- ADJUSTMENT AND SOCIAL ISSUES: Telementors can answer any questions you have about daily life at a highly selective college. Whether you want to know about the workload or how people dress, you have a peer to ask.
“Even after deciding to look beyond Texas, I did all my college research on my own. Just talking to actual college students would have been great.”
Eduardo Garcia, Telementor, Houston, Texas
Major: Latin American History
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Eduardo Garcia had never heard of Amherst College. He’d never traveled farther north than Dallas and expected to attend college in Texas. It was only through the luck of being chosen to attend a college fair for high-achieving minority students that he dis- covered Amherst and some other highly selective liberal arts schools. “The Telementoring Program would have helped me,” says Eddie. “Even after deciding to look beyond Texas, I did all my college research on my own. Just talking to actual college students would have been great.”
Eddie admits that as a low-income student he was apprehensive about attending an elite New England college. What he discovered, he says, is that campus life is a “great equalizer.” Eddie explains, “We all eat the same food and take the same classes. Amherst offers us all the same opportunities.”
Originally a science major, Eddie is now studying Latin American history. “I think a lot of low-income, minority students feel that their career options are medicine or law,” he says. “At Amherst, I’ve become really interested in foreign languages. I speak Spanish and I’ve been studying French and want to take a couple semesters of Arabic. I received a fellowship that is paying for me to study in Spain for a semester and also will pay for two years of graduate school after Amherst. I’m looking toward a career in something international, maybe starting off in the Foreign Service.” As for the doors that have opened for him, Eddie intends to stride through them. “The way I see it, I have no limits. That’s the best thing Amherst College has done for me. Being given the opportunity to do anything you want—that’s amazing. The Telementoring Program allows me to help other students get that same chance.