HOW IT WORKS
A PROVEN MODEL FOR COLLEGE SUCCESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
Act Six is a leadership development and college scholarship program that brings together diverse, multicultural cadres of emerging urban leaders who want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities at home. Act Six uses a simple but powerful four-part strategy:
CONNECT WITH US
RECRUIT AND SELECT
CALLING DIVERSE URBAN LEADERS WHO LOVE THEIR CITY
Act Six brings together diverse, multicultural cadres of young people who want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities at home. Scholars are actively recruited from across the region and chosen through a rigorous, three-phase selection process:
As illustrated on the graphic timeline above, Act Six scholars are chosen through a rigorous, highly competitive, three-phase selection process that spans four months.
Applicants complete an initial online application that includes a basic college admissions application as well as additional essay questions, letters of recommendation, and family financial information. All application materials must be submitted by 11:59 pm on November 7, 2017 .
After an initial screening of written application materials, top applicants are notified by email on November 28 and invited to participate as candidates in Phase II.
Candidates participate in a local half-day interactive event on December 9 where they demonstrate their academic and leadership potential while working together to address a complex community issue. Candidates learn more about each partner college and can update the list of colleges for which they wish to be considered. A local community committee considers candidates’ performance on both the written and interactive components to name approximately 20 semifinalists for each partner college. Decisions are emailed on January 9.
Semifinalists travel to the college for which they were selected for a two-day event between January 26 to February 15. Phase III allows students to experience campus life as they participate in a four-part evaluation process that includes a personal interview, an on-site writing task, academic seminar discussions, and group problem-solving activities. A parent or guardian is invited to participate in a portion of the visit.
Each partner college selects finalists and mails decision letters on February 20. Finalists are given a week to decide and commit to the Act Six program, agreeing to attend the college for which they were selected and to participate fully in the five-month training program. Applicants may withdraw from the process at any time prior to this commitment. The new class of Act Six scholars are formally announced to the public at a community celebration on March 9.
Who Should Apply
Every year Act Six recruits diverse, multicultural cadres of the Twin Cities’ most promising emerging urban and community leaders. The Initiative seeks young people who want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities at home. Act Six scholars must be:
- passionate about learning
- eager to foster intercultural relationships
- willing to step out of their comfort zones
- committed to serving those around them
- ready to make a difference on campus and at home
The selection process also places high value on applicants’:
- critical thinking
- communication skills
- academic potential
Applicants must be high school seniors planning to graduate in 2018 or must have previously graduated from high school in 2017 or 2016. Students enrolled at two-year colleges in the region may apply, but students currently enrolled at four-year colleges, including partner colleges, are not eligible to apply.
While ethnicity and family income are considered as factors in selecting an intentionally diverse group of scholars, there are no income restrictions, and students from all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Selecting Act Six scholars is a complex and multi-faceted process that considers many factors. The selection committees use the following questions to guide their evaluation of Act Six applicants. These questions best summarize what we are looking for in Act Six scholars.
- To what extent will the student contribute to the ethnic, economic, and experiential diversity of an Act Six cadre?
- To what extent is the student prepared to succeed and thrive academically at the selected college?
- To what extent will the selected college be a good fit for this student?
- To what extent will the student eagerly engage in a year-long exploration and discussion of Christian perspectives on leadership, diversity, and reconciliation?
- To what extent does the student understand and desire to advance the stated mission of the selected college?
- To what extent will the student be a service-minded leader and an agent of transformation on the college campus?
- To what extent will the student be committed to serving others and to what extent will s/he view the Act Six initiative as an opportunity to reach out to those around him/her?
- To what extent will the student be committed to and effective in fostering intercultural communication and acting as an agent for social change on the college campus?
- To what extent does the student see a sense of purpose in his/her participation in the Act Six Initiative?
- To what extent will attending the selected college and participating in the Initiative align with and/or transform the student’s goals and vision for his/her life?
- To what extent will the student be able and willing to persevere through hardship? How resilient is s/he to the challenges and struggles that life brings?
- To what extent does the student possess a depth and strength of character that will serve to encourage, support, and empower those around him/her?
The Act Six Community Selection Committees represent diverse and talented teams of community leaders who work with young people from across our region and from a wide range of backgrounds as well as those working to increase college access in our state. The committees represent the kind of diverse cadre of talented leaders that they are working to select. Members of the selection committee are listed below.
- Kasim AbdurRazzaq, Founder, AbdurRazzaq Counseling
- Jose Alvillar, Alumni, Augsburg University
- Jackie Batres, Bilingual Donor Rep, Be The Match
- Kyle Boyes, Community Outreach Manager, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation
- Joel Crandall, Director, Genesys Works
- Marquise Dixon, VP, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation
- Shonna Fulford, Assistant Director or Admissions, Augsburg University
- Sarah Griesse, Dean of Students, Augsburg University
- Beth Harshbarger, Director of Admissions, North Central University
- Dave Hawn, CEO, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation
- Ruthie Johnson, Equity and Engagement Specialist, Urban Homeworks
- Tish Jones, Executive Director, TruArtSpeaks
- Anissa Keyes, CEO, Arubah Emotional Health Services
- Yolanda Martinez-Pineda, Associate Director of Admissions, Hennepin Tech College
- Mayra Medina, Admissions Counselor, University of Northwestern
- Lawrence Miles, Lead Pastor, Journey Community Church
- Pang Moua, Associate, Bethel University
- Khanh Nguyen, Elder, Bethel Temple
- Mario Paez, VP, Insurance Services Professional Risk Group, Wells Fargo
- Ben Petzel, Admissions Counselor, Bethany Lutheran College
- Chanel Rivers, Director, United Healthcare
- Benny Roberts, Act Six Director, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation
- Jaralyn Roberts, Lead Partner, Target Corp.
- Marisol Rosado-Carrisalez, Alumni, Act Six
- Sarah Spiegle, Events Manager, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation
- D’Angelos Svenkeson, VP, Thor Construction
- Richard Terrell, Youth Director, Park Avenue Church
- Dan Tomhave, VP of Admissions, Bethany Lutheran College
- Joni Wethal, Coordinator, Fairview Health Services
- Brendan Williams, Director of Knowledge, Uaspire
- Maddie Wood, Director, Tree House Next
- Nou Yang, Director, TRIO- Upward Bound
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN ACT SIX SCHOLAR?
HOW TO APPLY
It’s easy to start your online application, and important that you begin the process early to make sure your application is completed by the deadline. There is no application fee, and your completed Act Six application also serves as an application for regular admission at the colleges you select, even if you are not chosen as an Act Six scholar. You can check your eligibility and start your application now and then stop and return to the application whenever you wish.
Confirm Your Eligibility and Start Your App Today
Are you eligible to apply?
- Do you love your community and want to use your college education to make a difference as a leader on campus and at home?
- Will you graduate from high school in 2018, or did you graduate previously in 2017 or 2016?
- Do you live in the Twin Cities area and, if selected, could you arrange your own transportation to weekly evening trainings at Urban Ventures?
- Do you want to attend Augsburg, Bethany Lutheran, Bethel, North Central or Northwestern-St Paul?
- Are you not currently enrolled at a four-year college? (Students at two-year colleges may apply.)
This year’s selection window has closed but you can check back next year to see if you are eligible.
To complete your application, you will need to submit all of the following components by 11:59 pm on November 7, 2017.
The first step of the application process is the Main Application form, where you provide detailed demographical, educational and extracurricular information, and indicate to which college(s) you wish to apply. Begin by creating a username and password to start your application. Be sure to complete at least the Getting Started form in your first session. All of your responses are saved once you submit each page, and you can return at a later point to keep working on the application.
The personal essays are perhaps the most important part of your Act Six application. Therefore you should allow time to carefully consider, thoughtfully compose and thoroughly edit each essay. You will be evaluated on content, mechanics and style.
It is critical that you compose your essays in a separate word processor so you can use spell check and edit carefully. When you have a final product, copy and paste your essays into the online form.
Use plain text only, as no formatting or special characters will be preserved. Insert a blank line between each paragraph. Responses to each question must be no longer than 500 words. This is typically about one page, double-spaced. Use the word count feature of your word processor to check the length, then confirm that the complete essay is pasted into the form.
Please be aware that if you disclose information regarding child abuse, neglect or other harm to minors, readers may be required to report this information to the appropriate authorities.
The following three personal essay questions are required for all Twin-Cities applicants:
- Act Six seeks to identify service-minded leaders who want to make their college campuses and their home communities better. This question has two parts: First, describe something that you appreciate and something you would like to change about your current community. Second, how will your college education equip you to bring about the transformation you hope for your community?
- Describe a concrete way that your ethnic or cultural background has shaped your life. Reflecting on that background, what unique perspectives and strengths would you bring to the college campus and how would you hope to grow personally as a part of a multicultural Act Six cadre?
- Describe any personal hardships, unusual circumstances you have had to overcome, or other aspects of your life story that you think we should consider in reviewing your application. How have these experiences shaped you as a person and how can they help you in the future?
Students applying only to Augsburg University and Bethany Lutheran must respond to the following question:
- Augsburg, Bethany Lutheran, and Urban Ventures do not expect or require any faith commitment from Act Six applicants. As a Christian organization, Urban Ventures is committed to exploring through Act Six an open conversation about spirituality as it relates to leadership and service in a diverse community. What role, if any, has your own faith tradition or spirituality played in your life to this point and how might it influence your values and vision for your future?
Students who wish to apply to Bethany Lutheran, Bethel University, North Central or University of Northwestern–St Paul must respond to the following question instead:
- Describe your relationship with Jesus Christ, sharing experiences and/or influences that are contributing to your spiritual development. Include specific ways in which you have seen Jesus at work in your life in the past year. With this in mind, how do you hope to contribute to the campus community at the college you attend?
You and your parent(s) must complete the FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov, starting October 1, to estimate your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and then submit four important numbers on the online Act Six Financial Summary form.
Because of the nature of the Act Six scholarship commitment and the desire of the program to select an economically diverse cadre, it is important that we have accurate information regarding each applicant’s financial situation. Neither high nor low income levels will make applicants ineligible. However, in order to provide an accurate estimate of the actual Act Six award at the time of selection, it is critical that Act Six, partner colleges and each applicant’s family have an accurate estimate of the applicant’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
The following steps are required to complete the required “Financial Summary” section of the online application:
- In order to complete the FAFSA, both you and a parent you live with need to create a FSA ID, which will allow you both to access and sign your FAFSA. Visit fsaid.ed.gov/npas to create a FSA ID.
- Start your FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov. Visit the FAFSA Help Page for an overview of the process and answers to many common questions. If you have further questions, ask a counselor at your school for assistance. Please ensure that you indicated on your FAFSA to have results sent to every college that you selected on your Act Six Main Application.
- Once you and your parent complete and sign the FAFSA with your FSA IDs, you will receive a FAFSA Student Aid Report that summarizes the information you provided and shows your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- With your FAFSA Student Aid Report in hand, complete this Act Six Financial Summary form. You cannot complete this form without your Student Aid Report. This form, along with all of the other required parts of the Act Six application, must be completed by November 7.
Official Transcripts and Test Scores
You must request that an official high school transcript and copies of ACT or SAT score reports be sent to Act Six by your high school registrar or counselor. If you have taken college classes, you should also request an official transcript from your college. You provide a name and email address for the registrar or counselor who you want to submit the documents, and an email invitation will be sent to that person, who can then either mail the documents or upload them online.
Scores from the ACT or SAT are required for admission to all partner colleges. Scores you have already received should be reported by your school in the High School Counselor Report form of your online application. If you are applying to any of these schools and your school has not received results by the application deadline, you may still apply for Act Six, but a copy of the exam score report must be received by the Act Six office no later than December 31.
High School Counselor Report
The high school counselor report must be completed by a school counselor who can access your academic records and ACT/SAT test scores as well as school and class GPA information. The applicant provides a name and email address, and an email invitation is sent to the counselor, who must then submit the form online by the application deadline. The following questions are asked on the counselor report:
- Applicant’s cumulative grade point average.
- Applicant’s class rank (If precise rank is not available, please indicate rank to the nearest tenth from the top).
- Senior class average GPA.
- Size of graduating class.
- Percentage of the class planning to attend a four-year college.
- In comparison to other college preparatory students at your school, the applicant’s course selection is (very demanding, demanding, average, less than demanding).
- Please list all courses in which the applicant is currently enrolled.
- Applicant’s anticipated or actual graduation date.
- Has the applicant ever been found responsible for a disciplinary violation at your school from ninth grade forward, whether related to academic or behavioral misconduct, that resulted in probation, suspension, removal or expulsion from your institution? If so, please give the approximate date of any incident and explain the circumstances.
- To your knowledge, has the applicant ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime, or have a court case pending against him or her at this time? If so, please give the approximate date of any incident and explain the circumstances. Note that you are not required to answer “yes” to this question, or provide an explanation, if the criminal adjudication or conviction has been expunged, sealed, annulled, pardoned, destroyed, erased, impounded, or otherwise ordered to be kept confidential by a court.
The teacher recommendation must be completed online by a teacher who has taught the applicant an academic subject, for example, English, foreign language, math, science, or social studies. The applicant provides a name and email address, and an email invitation is sent to the recommender, who must then submit the form online by the application deadline. The following questions are asked on the teacher recommendation:
- Compared to other college-bound students you have worked with, how do you rate the applicant (below average, average, above average, very good, extraordinary) in terms of: leadership, academic achievement, intellectual promise, quality of writing, creative, original thought, productive class discussion, respect accorded by faculty, disciplined work habits, maturity, motivation, integrity, reaction to setbacks, concern for others, self-confidence, initiative, independence, and overall.
- How long have you known the applicant and in what context?
- List the academic courses that you have taught the applicant, noting for each the grade level (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th) and the level of course difficulty (AP, honors, IB, elective, etc.).
- Do you think the applicant is ready to succeed at college? Please provide an assessment of the applicant’s academic preparation for college. Please explain any areas of concern.
- Why do you believe the applicant is a good candidate for the Act Six initiative? Highlight what you think is most compelling about the applicant.
- Describe a specific situation when the applicant stood out or impressed you. What was the challenge encountered and how did the applicant respond?
The community recommendation must be completed online by a mentor, employer, pastor or other adult (possibly at school) familiar with the applicant’s leadership potential and involvement outside of school. The applicant provides a name and email address, and an email invitation is sent to the recommender, who must then submit the form online by the application deadline. The following questions are asked on the community recommendation:
- How long have you known the applicant and in what context?
- Please rate the applicant (below average, average, above average, very good, extraordinary) in each of the following five categories. Use the “extraordinary” rating only for truly exceptional performance. For example, an applicant who is the best you have seen in five years may rate as exceptional. Then, explain your rating by giving a specific example of the applicant’s behavior.
- Leadership Experience and Potential
To what extent will the applicant be a service-minded leader and an agent of positive transformation on the college campus and his/her community at home? Consider the following:
- Has the applicant sought, found, and grown from authentic leadership experiences and other opportunities that have equipped him/her with leadership skills? (Keep in mind any possible limitations of time or opportunity imposed by family or circumstance.)
- Does the applicant demonstrate a level of insight and perception indicative of a leader?
- Does the applicant have a realistic awareness of the challenges of leadership? In light of these challenges does s/he posses a willingness to step out of his/her comfort zone to be a leader?
- Does the applicant see Act Six as an opportunity to be a part of something significant and important? Does s/he demonstrate a desire to make a real difference on the college campus and their community at home, to educate as well as learn from others?
- Heart for and Commitment to Service
To what extent will the applicant commit to humbly serving others and to what extent will s/he view Act Six as an opportunity to reach out to those around him/her? Consider the following:
- Is there evidence that the applicant’s leadership and community involvement is motivated by a sincere desire to invest in the welfare of people, rather than to merely build a resume?
- Does the applicant’s understanding of the benefits of leadership emphasize the rewards of empowering others more than the recognition and notoriety that comes with leadership?
- Does the applicant clearly articulate a long-term commitment to serving others?
- Personal Goals and Vision
To what extent will attending college and participating in Act Six align with and/or transform the applicant’s goals and vision for his/her life? Consider the following:
- Can the applicant articulate ways that s/he hopes to change and grow through college?
- Does the student’s discussion of his/her goals and desired personal growth complement the mission of the Act Six initiative?
- Perspectives and Insights on Diversity
To what extent will the applicant be committed to and effective in fostering intercultural relationships and acting as an agent for social transformation on the college campus? Consider the following:
- Does the applicant have a strong sense of their own identity?
- Does the applicant articulate the value of people from different backgrounds being together and building authentic relationships across their differences? Does s/he do so with perspectives and insights that penetrate beyond surface-level cliches and easy answers?
- Does the applicant have significant experience in multicultural settings and has s/he reflected on that experience in ways that suggest that s/he can carry it forward to the campus community?
- Does the applicant acknowledge that there are very real challenges in bringing people from diverse backgrounds together?
- Resiliency and Strength of Character
To what extent will the applicant be able and willing to persevere through hardship? How resilient is s/he to the challenges and struggles that life brings? Consider the following:
- Does the applicant possess a depth and strength of character that will serve to encourage, support, and empower those around him/her?
- Has the applicant demonstrated the ability to overcome adversity?
- Does the applicant possess motivation, creativity, relative maturity, integrity, independence, originality, passion for learning and capacity for growth?
TRAIN AND PREPARE
PREMIER COLLEGE SUCCESS AND LEADERSHIP TRAINING
Once selected, Act Six scholars participate in five months of intensive training with their cadre, equipping them to support each other, succeed academically and grow as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation. Starting in March, the cadres meet together weekly to:
- establish supportive friendships and grow as a team
- hone study and time-management strategies
- build intercultural and community leadership skills
- wrestle with important and challenging social issues
In addition to the weekly meetings, the program includes:
- week-end retreats and conferences
- family workshops and social events
- additional visits to the college campus
- an extended summer expedition
After five months of training with their cadre, Act Six scholars begin college ready to engage the campus and community with a built-in support system and a sense of purpose as service-minded leaders and agents of transformation.
Training Themes and Content
Blending practical college success skills, leadership training, self-discovery and cadre team-building, the Act Six training program revolves around the following seven themes:
- Identifying and aligning with our core values
- Understanding the vision, mission, and foundation of the Act Six program
- Exploration of various leadership styles
- Exploration and development of personal leadership strengths
- Practical tools for leadership
- Christian motivations for and perspectives on service
- Frameworks for understanding service and community development
- Connecting individual gifts and passions with community needs
- Exploring differing cultural lenses and their effect on intercultural relationships
- Understanding and communicating across differences
- Exploring race dynamics in America and on the college campus
- Identity formation in a multicultural environment
- Trust-building and nurturing of authentic relationships
- Acknowledging and supporting individual strengths and weaknesses
- Exploration of community and campus assets and needs
- Critical reading, writing, and discussion skill development
- Time and money management
- Anticipating and addressing the personal and social challenges of campus life
- Dynamics of personal and organizational change
SEND AND FUND
TO COLLEGE TOGETHER WITH UNBEATABLE SCHOLARSHIPS
Act Six sends scholars together to college with the built-in support and encouragement of a cadre of fellow leaders who share a common mission. Act Six is the only urban leadership award that offers unparalleled full-tuition, full-need scholarships.
This year, 30-40 Twin Cities students will be awarded leadership scholarships that cover at minimum the cost of tuition at our partner colleges, worth between $120,000 to $140,000 over four years. Depending on their family’s financial need, most scholars’ awards will also cover some or all of the cost of room and board, books and other expenses. Together, the awards for this year’s class of Twin Cities Act Six scholars will total more than $4 million.
How the Full-Tuition, Full-Need Scholarships Work
Act Six offers the Twin Cities’ only full-tuition, full-need urban leadership scholarship. Act Six works with colleges and other partners to guarantee that full scholarship recipients receive grants that, at minimum, cover full tuition (and at Bethel, books and supplies) at the college for four years.
Scholars with need beyond tuition (as determined by the FAFSA) will receive additional grant and work study to fully meet that need. For most scholars, the awards will therefore cover some or all of the cost of room and board, books, travel and personal expenses.
To retain the scholarship, scholars are required to remain active in the program and maintain satisfactory academic progress throughout their undergraduate studies.
Here’s how the full scholarships work:
- Each year students and their parents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which will determine the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Students who are unable to complete the FAFSA will complete an alternative form to determine their EFC.
- The family’s need is then determined by subtracting their EFC from the total cost of attendance (including tuition, room and board, books, travel and personal expenses).
- Act Six award packages begin with any government grant or private scholarships for which students qualify.
- After government grants and private scholarships have been applied, the college commits to providing scholarship aid that will meet full tuition for every Act Six scholar.
- If the family’s need exceeds the cost of tuition, the college commits to providing additional scholarship aid and work study to meet full need.
- Each family will be responsible for covering their EFC.
Because Act Six awards meet full need without loan, scholars can be assured that they are receiving unsurpassed award packages.
SUPPORT AND INSPIRE
CONNECTED LEADERS WORKING TOGETHER FOR POSITIVE CHANGE
Getting to college is just the start of the Act Six experience. Bound together by a shared mission and commitments, scholars learn to encourage and challenge each other while they receive ongoing support from their colleges and Urban Ventures. After five years together, alumni graduate from college connected to each other and ready to lead in the community. Together, they will create a fabric of leadership that will shape the future of our cities.
On campus, faculty and staff mentors meet regularly with the cadres and with each individual scholar as needed. Mentors provide social support and connect students with campus resources. This support helps scholars thrive academically, but also empowers them to get involved and step out into leadership roles on campus and in the surrounding community.
Back in the neighborhood, Urban Ventures staff provide additional support, ongoing leadership development and assistance connecting with internships and career opportunities.
National data show that less than a third of all students from low-income families who start college ever graduate. The data are equally discouraging for students whose parents didn’t attend college and those from most underrepresented ethnic groups.
But the statistics for Act Six scholars in the Pacific Northwest tell a much different story: Since 2002, Act Six has selected and trained 712 scholars from seven cities in 105 cadres for 13 partner colleges. They represent six continents of the world, speak 70 native languages, and represent the very best emerging urban and community leaders that these communities have to offer. While 87% of scholars come from low-income households or are the first in their family to go to college, they are defying the odds with graduation rates of 83%.
And along the way, Act Six scholars and alumni are creating a legacy of distinguished leadership, service and academic achievement on campus and in the community:
- 12 have served as student body presidents for their college
- two have been named Fulbright scholars by the US State Department
- two have earned national championships in athletics
- dozens have served in AmeriCorps, Teach For America, or Peace Corps
- scores have traveled and studied around the world
- nearly two-thirds have returned to live and serve in their home communities
We expect to see the same kind of powerful results from Twin Cities scholars over the coming years.
A Fabric of Leadership
When you think about moments of significant positive change that have happened in your community, you can usually point to a group of connected people who made it happen. Networks of effective leaders working together get things done. The problem is that those leadership networks don’t always look like or represent the full breadth of a community, and as a result, some groups tend to get left behind. For our communities to thrive in the future, we need diverse networks of homegrown leaders who love their home and are committed to building vibrant communities where everyone thrives.
It is precisely this kind of diverse, committed leadership network that Act Six works to produce. In the second decade of Act Six in the Pacific Northwest, with 287 alumni, we are beginning to see the fruits of this fabric of leadership as alumni grow in their responsibility and deepen their connections in the community.
SEE THE IMPACT OF ACT SIX ALUMNI IN THE FIRST ACT SIX CITY
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where did the name "Act Six" come from?
In the sixth act (or chapter) of Luke’s drama about the early followers of Christ (the New Testament’s Book of Acts), we find a church that was confronted with the reality of ethnic inequality in the distribution of a critical resource. How the early church responded to inequality in food distribution can inform how we respond to the clear and disturbing inequality in the distribution of one of today’s most critical resources: education. At the heart of the solution was the selection of a cadre of leaders from the affected minority group that was charged and empowered to work toward a solution. Provided with every resource they needed, this group created a solution that made way for dynamic growth in the church, and in the process produced two of the early church’s most significant leaders. Get the full story in Acts 6:1-7.
Do I have to be a Christian to apply?
It depends on the college(s) to which you apply. Students applying to Augsburg and Bethany Lutheran are not required to demonstrate a faith commitment and students from any or no religious traditions are invited to apply. Applicants to Bethel, North Central and Northwestern–St Paul are required to sign statements that affirm their core evangelical Christian commitments and desire to participate in a Christian community with shared lifestyle expectations.
Act Six was born out of the conviction that division and inequity among people saddens God and that the leadership needed to bridge and heal those divisions requires a deep humility and commitment to service. Act Six believes that the Christian faith both demands and makes uniquely possible a bold and authentic reconciliation between people from across God’s creation. Act Six staff operate out of deep Christian commitments—commitments that include genuine respect for those who do not share their convictions.
Regardless of their religious tradition, Act Six scholars should be open to exploring various Christian perspectives on leadership and service and should be aware that a significant portion of the training program will be dedicated to this exploration. In the midst of this exploration, disagreement and differing perspectives are welcomed and engaged.
Applicants should also be comfortable with the distinct identity, mission and faith commitments of each college to which they apply. You can explore the diversity of how each college understands its commitment to faith and learning on each college’s website.
Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen to apply?
No. U.S. Citizens, Dual-Citizens, and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for Act Six at all partner colleges. Immigrants who are eligible for the Minnesota Dream Act may apply for Act Six at Augsburg, Bethany Lutheran, Bethel, University of Northwestern-St. Paul and North Central.
Is Act Six only for students of color? Only for low-income students?
No. The goal of the program is to select an intentionally diverse group of students, both ethnically and economically. While the majority of students selected will likely be students of color, low income, or the first in their families to go to college, White students and students from middle-class families who have experience relating to people from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Selecting students from a range of backgrounds is critical to creating a cadre that will serve as a model of healthy and honest intercultural relationship that is at the heart of racial and economic justice and reconciliation.
How are scholars matched with colleges?
You are encouraged to learn as much as possible about each partner college as you decide where you wish to apply. In your application, you will be asked to indicate for which college(s) you wish to be considered for Act Six and general admission. If you select more than one college, you will be asked to indicate your preferences by ranking your selections.
If you are not selected to advance as a candidate to the Phase II event, your application will be sent on to the college(s) you indicate below to be considered through the regular admissions process. If you are selected to participate in Phase II, you will learn more about each college and have the opportunity to update your preference at the event’s conclusion.
After Phase II, local selection committees will select approximately 20 semifinalists for each college. As in the previous phase, if you are not selected as a semifinalist, your application will be sent on to the college(s) you listed after Phase II for consideration through the regular admissions process. Those selected as semifinalists for each college will be admitted to that college and will be invited to participate in the on-campus Phase III event at that college.
After Phase III, each college will name finalists. Finalists will have several days to decide and commit to the Act Six program, agreeing to participate fully in the six month training program. Those not selected as finalists and those finalists who decline the Act Six offer will still be granted admission to that college and will be considered for regular admission to the other colleges that they indicated on their application. If admitted, they will receive financial aid awards through the regular financial aid process.
Why do I need to provide my family’s financial information?
Because of the nature of the Act Six scholarship commitment and the desire of the program to select an economically diverse cadre, it is important that we have an accurate estimate of applicants’ financial situation. Further, in order to provide a good estimate of the actual Act Six award at the time of selection, it is critical that the program have an accurate estimate of the student’s Expected Family Contribution.
The information provided in the Act Six application process is the same information that colleges will later receive through the FAFSA and gives both Act Six and families an early and reliable estimate of their EFC. All financial information is treated confidentially.
Are there any income requirements?
No. While family income will be considered in choosing an intentionally diverse group of students, neither high nor low income levels will make applicants ineligible.
Do I make any commitment to colleges just by applying?
No. Applicants make no commitment to the program by submitting a Phase I application or by participating in Phase II or Phase III of the selection process. They may at any time remove themselves from consideration. Students who are selected as finalists will be given several days to accept the the award. If they decide to participate in the program, students are then required to participate fully in the six month training and preparation program throughout the remainder of the year in order to receive the scholarship.
Why is the application deadline so early in the year?
The primary reason for the early application deadline and selection dates is to allow for the six month training and preparation program throughout the rest of the year before the cadre heads off to campus. While the early deadline certainly adds some urgency to the beginning of the year, it also dramatically frees students who are selected from the stress that accompanies the rest of most students’ senior year. By March, scholars who are selected will know where they are going to college and will know that they have the best financial aid possible. Gone is the stress of applications, decisions, and financial worries that typically clouds the spring of senior year. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on preparing to be successful in college and on developing the skills to engage the campus when you arrive.
Another challenge with the timeline is the need for students who are selected to commit to a college before they have heard from all of their other college choices. While this early decision likely will come with a bit of uncertainty, what is certain is that Act Six scholars will be heading to a great liberal arts college with an unbeatable financial aid award, incredible preparation and an unparalleled support system.
What if I won’t have an ACT or SAT score back before the application deadline?
Scores from the ACT or SAT Reasoning are required for admission to all partner colleges. Scores you have already received should be reported by your school in the High School Counselor Report form of your online application. If you are applying to any of these schools and your school has not received results by the application deadline, you may still apply for Act Six, but a copy of the exam score report must be received by the Act Six office no later than December 31.
Is there a minimum GPA?
No. However, Act Six is looking for talented students with strong scholastic potential who are passionate about learning and who will succeed and thrive in challenging academic environments. You can compare the academic profiles of each of the Act Six partner colleges to get a sense of the range of typical students at each school. Students with weaker high school grades must find ways to clearly demonstrate this passion for learning and potential for success.