Howard University Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP)

Hi, @ChangeTheGame , I’ve been selected as a semifinalist for the 7th cohort, and I just took the placement assessment awhile ago and got an 87. Will this hurt my chances for being selected as a finalist?

I know the score might be very low compared to others who have taken the exam, but I think that the other parts of my application (I have a 1520 SAT score and a 3.9 unweighted GPA) should help me still.

Is the placement assessment a huge part of the committee determining who they choose as a finalist? I’m freaking out a little bit.

Thank you again for this amazing thread, I read through all of it last night and learned so much about this program just from this thread alone.

I think that an 87 is a very good score. Just for a little context, when my oldest was selected in the second cohort, only a couple members of the selected cohort that shared their scores had a higher score ALEKS score. But when my 2nd kid tested for cohort 4, there were quite a few students who scored over an 90. My impression talking to my kids is that the KSSP are looking for kids to reach a baseline score (I definitely think you reached that baseline score), but there have been students selected previously with much lower scores because of the totality of their application.

Your academic statistics are better than the previous cohort academic averages, but the KSSP will be looking at everything submitted up to this point. I never “guess” on whether a student will get selected, but I would be cautiously optimistic in your position based on what you have shared. I told my kids that what is meant for them will be provided and that helped them both deal with the anxiety. The Finalists will be announced soon and I am rooting for you.


Okay, thank you so much! Now we play the waiting game until Wednesday or at the very least, Friday.


Hello @ChangeTheGame I’ve been selected for the finals!!
Please, can you give me a few tips on how to ace the selection weekend?

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Congratulations on being named a Finalist, @imtheonlyone!!!

My 1st piece of advice is to relax a little bit and recharge before TRACKS Weekend. I asked my kids to treat selection weekend as their own interview of Howard University and the KSSP program and to ask the type of questions that you can not find on the school’s website (especially talk to the current Karsh Scholars about their experiences within the program and at Howard). The other thing I wanted my kids to do was be authentic and at the same time be the best versions of themselves. I let them both know that they had been preparing for this program before the KSSP ever existed, and I wanted them to just enjoy the moment and not worry (this was a hard one) about the result, because the journey was what was really important. I believe that you have also been preparing for this opportunity your entire life and are ready for TRACKS Weekend… Good luck and please keep us posted.


Thank you!! I’ve been selected as a finalist.

Any advice for acing the interview and standing out amongst the other finalists?

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Hello @texas_guy
Is it okay if you share the first few lines of you finalist acceptance letter with me? There’s something interesting I’d to find out.

Here’s my letter, however, I believe everyone gets the same letter.

Dear Karsh STEM Scholars Finalist, March 2023
Congratulations! The Karsh STEM Scholars Program (KSSP) Selection
Committee has completed review of applications and placement test scores and is
pleased to extend an invitation to you to the Karsh STEM Scholars TRACKSTalent Recruitment and Choosing Karsh Scholars Weekend Program, Friday
March 17th through Saturday, March 18th, 2023. Your outstanding academic
performance and extracurricular achievements make you one of a very select group
of high school seniors receiving this invitation. Our Selection Weekend Program
will provide an opportunity for the KSSP Selection Committee to get to know you
better. It will also provide an opportunity for you to meet some of the other
finalists who come from all over the country.
You and your family should be very proud that you have advanced to this final
stage of a very competitive process to become a member of the seventh cohort of
Karsh STEM Scholars. As a participant in the TRACKS process, you will have an
opportunity to demonstrate that you are one of the best candidates for this
milestone program.
It should be noted that while the scholarship itself is a tremendous benefit
associated with being a Karsh STEM Scholar, it is just one component of this
program, albeit an important one. The focus, however, should be on the fact that
KSSP is undergirded by a success model designed to increase the likelihood that
students will successfully achieve their short and long-term goals as well as the
goals of the program.
The scheduled allotment for TRACKS programming is from 2:30pm on Friday,
March 17th through 6:00pm Saturday, March 18th. Interviews will take place
Saturday between 10:00am-1:30pm Eastern Time. Additional information about
TRACKS and about your specific interview time will be forthcoming. You
must keep an eye on your email accounts for notifications from Submittable.
This is how we will communicate with you. YOU MUST RESPOND TO
You will receive an email from Submittable that will require you to complete a K-7
Finalist for TRACKS Weekend RSVP Form. Please complete the K-7 Finalist for
TRACKS Weekend RSVP Form before March 12th, 2023, at 5:00pm ET. The
sooner, the better!
Thank you for applying to the Karsh STEM Scholars Program. We look forward to
meeting you and your family.

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Hello everyone!!!
I hope you all aced the interview. @texas_guy how was yours? Mind sharing what you found challenging?