Franklin & Marshall College has long offered one of the most rigorous and empowering undergraduate educations in the country, preparing independent thinkers to become leaders, creators, and problem-solvers in all walks of life. We are committed to affording that opportunity to high-achieving students everywhere.

We know that smart and driven young people are found in every segment of the American economy and in every community across the country. But, each year, tens of thousands of talented, lower-income high school students don't apply to the selective, rigorous colleges for which they're qualified -- a phenomenon known as "undermatching."

Educational opportunity is critical to America's future success, and F&M has moved decisively to expand its financial aid resources, enhance its admission outreach, and form partnerships with leading national school networks and access programs, including KIPP, Cristo Rey, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First, College Match, Noble, the School District of Lancaster, and Posse. We meet the full demonstrated need of every student.

This comprehensive Next Generation Initiative -- a talent strategy -- aims to prepare tomorrow's leaders drawn from the full American mosaic, and to enhance the educational experience for all F&M students.

Crucial Investments

  • In 2008, the Board of Trustees approved an aggressive growth strategy for student aid. Since then, the financial aid provided to each first-year class has nearly tripled, from $5.8 million for the Class of 2012 to $14.6 million for the Class of 2020.
  • In 2011, the College developed an innovative three-week F&M College Prep summer program for rising high school seniors. The program serves more than 70 students annually.
  • In 2012, the College recruited a national expert in student success, Donnell Butler, Ph.D. '95 to catalyze our efforts to smooth all students' transition to college and develop effective assessment measures for student progress and achievement.
  • In 2012, F&M created the Office of Student and Post-Graduate Development to bolster our career advising for students during their college years and beyond graduation.


  •  In 2012, F&M became the third institution and the first liberal arts college to partner with the Posse Foundation to enroll annual cohorts of 10 full-scholarship students from Miami who plan to major in STEM disciplines. 
F&M College Prep Confronts 'Undermatching'
The F&M and STEM Posse Partnership
  • The proportion of incoming students who are eligible for Pell Grants has risen dramatically, from 5% for the Class of 2012 to 19% for the Class of 2020.
  • The Class of 2020 comprises 23% students of color, up from 11% of the Class of 2012.
  • The average SAT scores of the first-year class have remained at the same high levels since 2008, and F&M is significantly more selective than it was a decade ago.
  • First-generation and Pell students at F&M consistently retain from their first to second year at the same high rate and achieve the same B average as their full cohorts.
  • Students receiving need-based financial aid at F&M graduate at the same high rate as, and with higher average GPAs than, their full cohorts.
  • The average debt at graduation of students with debt has decreased from $33,200 for the Class of 2012 to $27,133 for the Class of 2016.


F&M Stories 
Student Spotlight: Donnell Bailey
College Presidents Convening - Donnell Bailey, KIPP New Orleans
Alumni Documentary: Nilaja Sun Gordon '96
Alumni Spotlight: Donnell Butler '95

News Coverage 

Media Coverage

Should financial aid only go to college students in need?
WGAL story on diversity at F&M
Secretary John King on raising education standards and changing the college admissions caste system