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BSP: Balfour Scholars Program

Our Purpose

Although the achievement gap is narrowing at the K-12 level, barriers to college enrollment still continue to exist for many traditionally underrepresented groups. Supported by a grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, the Balfour Scholars Program (BSP) is a free program for high school juniors designed to help cultivate student academic and career development as well as minimize misperceptions about affordability, unfamiliarity with higher education, and difficulties with cultural adjustment that prevent students from successfully matriculating and graduating from college.

BSP students

This program is designed to maximally benefit students. On a fundamental level, the program teaches students how to become a stronger scholar, manage finances, choose an academic major, and evaluate career options that best suit their interests and abilities. Additionally, the BSP takes student development further by connecting Scholars with mentors and helping them to not only succeed, but to become a leader. However, we understand that students are interested in more than just academics. Therefore, the BSP introduces Scholars to the social aspects of college life and shows them the student clubs, campus events, and cultural activities that college has to offer.

BPCA: Balfour Pre-College Academy

Transformative and life changing--that's the Balfour Pre-College Academy.  As a rising high school senior participating in our pre-college academy, you spend one week living and learning at Indiana University Bloomington. Balfour Scholars participate in informational sessions and activities to develop their abilities to make informed and personalized decisions regarding their collegiate and career paths. You attend classes and workshops daily, exploring cultural identity and career development in depth with IUB faculty and staff.  Outside of class you participate in reflection exercises and attend social events. 

In the summer pre-college academy you:

  • Engage in thought-provoking dialogue 
  • Develop as a critical thinker
  • Create a college map that accounts for your cultural identity and career development

Then throughout their senior year, students will continue to receive mentoring and access to resources to help make the transition to college a smooth one. The analytical skills learned through this program are transferable in nature and will allow students to leverage resources on any campus. For more information, download the BSP Pre-College Academy Brochure.

Click on the links below to see what life is like for a Balfour Scholars Pre-College Academy participant

2014 BSP Pre-College Academy

Group photo of the 2013 BSP Pre-College Academy students

Check out more photos from the inaugural 2013 Academy and read what students had to say about their experience.

Program Components

  • Attending sample classroom lectures
  • Hearing from current college students
  • Attending admission and informational sessions 
  • Housing and dining in the Indiana University-Bloomington residence halls
  • Preparing a personal plan to guide your college decision
  • Co-Curricular activities

Housing and Supervision

  • Male and Female students will be housed on separate floors with access only to their particular floor
  • One counselor for about every 10-15 students

The Balfour Pre-College Academy is one component of the BSP, and students who attend the Pre-College Academy are encouraged to consider Indiana University in their college choice process. BSP Scholars who choose to enroll at IUB will receive a comprehensive continuum of support throughout their college education at IUB.

“Balfour equips students with the skills and knowledge to make informed college choice decisions that take into account students’ scholarly identity and career aspirations.”

—Christina Wright Fields, Ph.D.  Balfour Scholars Program Director

Balfour Pre-College Academy 2016

The 2016 Balfour Pre-College Academy is scheduled for Sunday, July 10 through Saturday, July 16, 2016.

Eligibilty and application

We invite you to apply if you are:

  • Highly academically motivated 
  • High School junior
  • Enrolled in a college preparatory curriculum (Core 40 Diploma or Core 40 with Academic Honors Diploma in Indiana)
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher

Application is closed

Contact Us

Please contact the program director, Dr. Christina Wright Fields, by email at or by telephone at (812) 856-8233.