ISU Bengal Bridge, which provides college credits to new high school graduates at a reduced cost, is accepting applications until April 15

POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s Bengal Bridge will continue to accept applications for summer 2018 until April 15. Bengal Bridge is a seven-week summer college semester for recently graduated high school seniors. Students have the opportunity to earn 9-10 college credits towards their degree for $585 instead of the regular tuition price of $3,583.

Bengal Bridge is designed to give students extra help in transitioning to college. The program offers small class sizes and tutoring for students, while also helping them become accustomed to campus living.

“Bengal Bridge’s primary goals are encouraging more high school students to go to college, to provide a solid start for incoming freshmen and to help students get credits towards their degree sooner,” said Misty Prigent, Bengal Bridge coordinator.

Students are encouraged to live on campus in either the Rendezvous Complex or South Complex. They can also live off campus if they choose.

To be part of the Bengal Bridge program, students must be a high school senior or recent graduate, apply and be accepted to Idaho State University and apply to Bengal Bridge before April 15.

Previous Bengal Bridge student Stephanie Vera had unique circumstances during her summer at ISU. Vera had the responsibility of taking care of her three younger siblings along with the responsibility of her studies.

“Bridge was the support I needed,” Vera said. “I knew my professors and classmates were there to encourage me to keep going no matter my challenge.”

Through the Bengal Bridge program, Vera had many great learning opportunities that helped her realize how capable she is.

“The Bengal Bridge program has had a great impact on me and was a great introduction to Idaho State University,” Vera said. “It definitely gave me better insight into college, and it exposed me to a higher level of academia.”

Prigent and other advisors stay in contact with their past students. It is clear that the program is helping students go on to gain further education.

“It’s really touching to see all the students that benefit from this program,” Prigent said. “I really believe that through additional educational opportunities, we’re changing lives.”

While the Bengal Bridge program’s primary focus is obtaining college credits, it also hosts many activities and campus events for students.

“We try to hold about one activity a week,” Prigent said.

These activities range from water balloon fights during midterms, to recreational volleyball or basketball.

Students leave the Bengal Bridge program with a solid head start on their education, but they also leave with a “cohort” of friends that follow them throughout their lives. Prigent said being involved in the Bengal Bridge program is more rewarding than just obtaining college credits.

“Every year, I see so many of our past students around campus involved in leadership and competitive programs,” Prigent said. “They always tell me they couldn’t have done it without Bridge.”

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