About Posse

“I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse with me.”

The Posse Foundation

Founded in 1989, The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains individuals with extraordinary leadership potential. Posse Scholars receive full-tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges and universities. Posse extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams—Posses—of 10 students. Posse partner colleges and universities award Posse Scholars four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarships.

Once selected, Posse Scholars enroll in a 32-week training program during their senior high school year. They arrive on campus academically prepared and motivated to foster positive social change.

Our country is diverse. Its leadership should be, too.

From CEOs to educators, social entrepreneurs to STEM innovators, the leaders of the 21st century should reflect our population’s growing diversity. The Posse Foundation supports talented students from diverse backgrounds so they can become those leaders.

When students leave the Foundation, they’re ready to lead. They’re ready and prepared to move mountains.Congressman John Lewis

The Posse model works for both students and college campuses and is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students—a Posse—carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for individual and community development. As the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society, Posse believes that the leaders of the 21st century should reflect the country’s rich demographic mix. The key to a promising future for our nation rests on the ability of strong leaders from diverse backgrounds to develop consensus solutions to complex social problems. Posse’s primary aim is to train these leaders of tomorrow.

How the Posse program is making that happen.

The Posse Foundation could not exist without its partner colleges and universities, who provide Posse Scholars with full-tuition scholarships, weekly faculty mentoring, and other support. Posse thanks these prestigious institutions for their investments in the program and their commitment to the success of Posse Scholars.

Click Here for more information on The Posse Foundation.

UW-Madison Posse Program

The University of Wisconsin-Madison became a Posse partner college in 2002. The UW-Madison Posse Program was the first major public research institution to launch this unique program. Since then, more than 600 Posse Scholars have been awarded merit scholarships to attend UW-Madison.


Los Angeles

Washington D.C.

New York

Gifts to the Posse Fund, which supports Posse student scholarships can benefit those leaders of tomorrow. Gifts may be named in honor of donors or their loved ones. Endowment gifts, also named, are encouraged to help ensure the long-term viability of the program. Gifts at this level provide support for a scholarship in perpetuity, and allow generations of students to realize their educational goals. To make a Gift click the Donate to Posse Link Below.

For More Information Contact:
UW-Madison Posse Program
(608) 890-4385

Donate to Posse

Each scholar is not only a part of a posse, but they will also have a Posse Mentor that supports them throughout their first two years at the university. Posse Mentors are selected and trained specifically to help their scholars succeed. Mentors are assigned to one posse and meet with the entire group weekly in addition to one-on-one meetings with individual scholars every two weeks. Outside of the group and individual meetings, Mentors provide general support and guidance to scholars as needed.

Learn more about our team here.

Interested in becoming a Posse Mentor? We recruit and hire four new Mentors each spring, with the position openings typically posted on the Student Jobs website in January and February. If interested, please reach out to us at posse@cdo.wisc.edu with any questions you have.

Each fall, students are nominated by high schools and community-based organizations for their leadership and academic potential. Posse partner colleges and universities award merit-based leadership scholarships to multicultural teams of 10 students each. These teams (Posses) attend college together.

Every year, Posse works closely with its netw
ork of high schools and community-based organizations to recruit Posse Scholars. Each Posse Scholar wins a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to attend one of Posse’s partner colleges or universities.


To be eligible, a high school senior MUST:

  1. Be nominated by their high school or a community-based organization.
  2. Be in the first term of their senior year in high school. Depending on the Posse city, nominations are often taken between the spring and early August before the new school year begins.
  3. Demonstrate leadership within their high school, community or family.
  4. Demonstrate academic potential.

The Posse Scholarship is neither a minority nor a need-based scholarship and is open to students of all backgrounds.

For more information on nominating a student, please go to the The Posse Foundation, Inc..

Three Goals

To expand the pool from which top colleges and universities can recruit outstanding young leaders from diverse backgrounds.

To help these institutions build more interactive campus environments so that they can be more welcoming for people from all backgrounds.

To ensure that Posse Scholars persist in their academic studies and graduate so they can take on leadership positions in the workforce.

Interesting Facts

  • Posse is one of the most comprehensive college access, diversity, and youth leadership development programs in the country.
  • It was founded in 1989.
  • Posse recruits, selects and trains public high school students and sends them to college in multicultural teams of 10 (“Posses”) to be a support network for each other and to be catalysts of change on campus.
  • Posse specializes in identifying nontraditional students who might be overlooked by the traditional admissions processes at selective colleges and universities.
  • To date, Posse has 10,000+ Scholars and alumni in its network.
  • Posse Scholars have won $1.6 billion in full-tuition, leadership scholarships from partner colleges and universities.
  • Posse currently has 64 top-tier college and university partners.
  • Posse Scholars persist and graduate at a rate of 90 percent – well above the national average.
  • Posse is established in 10 cities (Atlanta, Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, D.C.).
  • On average, more than 15,000 students are nominated each year for Posse Scholarships across the country.