Boateng graduated from SMU in December 2022 and is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling from the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development. “My parents always tell me, ‘Aim as high as you can.’ In terms of what I was looking for in a college, I wanted more than good academics – because I knew I would have that part covered. The atmosphere mattered. And SMU had the vibe I wanted.”
But Boateng and his family didn't know if they could make it work until they assessed the cost.
Through a combination of federal aid and SMU institutional support based on Boateng’s outstanding academic credentials and his family’s financial circumstances, they were able to cover almost 90% of the cost of attending SMU.
On the Hilltop, Boateng discovered a tight-knit community and friends in his Residential Commons and in the Mustang Band, where he played saxophone. “I made my greatest friends in the band and in Boaz Commons, where I was still involved as a senior. My former Faculty-in-Residence and his family are like my second family. And with the band, no matter how tired I was, when we lined up for the parade before the football game and everyone was losing their minds, I'd think, ‘Wow! This is the atmosphere. This is the interconnectedness that I’d heard about at SMU.’”
During the 2022-2023 school year, Boateng was among the SMU students benefitting from Access SMU. The University launched the financial award in April 2022 to help cover the previously unmet cost of college for high-achieving Texas students who receive Federal Pell Grants and SMU merit scholarships. In the first year of Access SMU, 216 first-year and returning students qualified for financial support, helping them to overcome barriers to college entry and graduation.
“We want every student with great academic talent to be able to attend SMU regardless of their family’s financial resources. Access SMU is helping make that possible,” said Wes Waggoner, associate vice provost for enrollment management.