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An Invitation for 6th Graders

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As a part of a $7-million effort to boost minority enrollment, Ohio State University next spring will launch a "Young Scholars Program" aimed at black 6th graders in the state's urban areas.

Some 400 students will be chosen this year to participate in the program, which will guarantee them automatic acceptance at Ohio State upon high-school graduation, if they meet certain requirements.

The acceptance criteria include completion of a college-preparatory program and participation in a summer academic program at the university. Ruth Gerstner, a spokesman for Ohio State, said last week that details of the selection process had not yet been ironed out.

Upon selection, students will be assigned an adult mentor from their community to provide guidance. Each summer, they will visit the campus for two to four weeks to participate in an academic program underwritten by affirmative-action funds. The university expects eventually to have 1,400 students enrolled each summer.

After successfully completing high school and the summer program, the students will be accepted by the university and will receive the necessary financial aid, Ms. Gerstner said. In addition, each will be assigned two mentors--one a student and one a staff member.

The program is part of a major affirmative-action campaign to raise the minority enrollment at the university; only 6 percent of this year's entering freshmen are black. Through the Young Scholars Program and other measures, Ms. Gerstner said, the university hopes to increase the proportion of blacks in the entering class to 10 percent by 1992. Eleven percent of the state's overall population is black.--rrw

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