UConn Rising Scholars Program

Our Mission


The UCONN Rising Scholars Program (formerly, First Star Academy) established in 2013, in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), provides academic and college preparation to high school students in foster care. Each summer participants live on campus, take courses, and develop skills to help them succeed in high school and prepare for college. During the academic year, the program continues to provide academic and personal support through tutoring, mentoring, college and career awareness, and many other services.

Benefits of Participating in URS

The UConn Rising Scholars Program provides an academically challenging program created for the specific needs of high school students in foster care. Students live in a college environment and learn about college life while still attending high school. They develop close relationships with supportive staff and peers who understand the unique obstacles they face on their educational journeys.

Who is Eligible?

High school students who are currently in Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) guardianship are eligible to apply. Interested students must:

  • Talk to their DCF social worker
  • Complete the UConn Rising Scholars Program Application
  • Agree to the program’s participation requirements
  • Review the Program Expectations here
  • For additional information or eligibility requirements, please contact the DCF Adolescent and Juvenile Justice Services Division at 860-550-6529

Access the 2020 Student Application link.

UConn Rising Scholars Summer Tutor Counselor Application 2020

HSI Residential Hall Coordinators Summer 2020

DCF Education Services