The Road to Our Success

Meritus College Fund was founded in 1996 by Dr. Henry Safrit and friends who recognized that talented local youth lacked the means and often the moral support to attend and complete degrees at four year colleges. To help these students gain access to higher education, a fund – propelled by grassroots engagement – was established to provide scholarships. At the same time, the groundwork was laid for a model emphasizing personal guidance as a means to success.

Meritus has significantly expanded its reach and scope since its first Scholar in 1996. As a result our direct experience with over 300 graduates and 200 current students on their way to college completion, our approach to persistence and success is multidimensional. The program’s impact excels by weaving consistent financial support with supportive interventions to empower students to avert derailment, identify opportunities that enrich the college experience, and leverage community resources for success post-graduation.

Meritus has shepherded nearly 750 students since its inception and provided close to $9.5 million in scholarships, ongoing advising, and countless volunteer mentoring hours to enable 88% of its Scholars to graduate from college. These achievements far exceed the 1 in 4 completion rates of students from comparable backgrounds nationally.