SMU is just the beginning for Myles Boateng ’22

Discover how Boateng forged a successful path on the Hilltop with the help of Access SMU.

Myles Boateng

When Myles Boateng was a high school senior in Carrollton, he wanted to study psychology in the best college in Texas that would give him the highest-quality education in the field. But he had no blueprint for how to make the college experience work.

As a first-generation student, Boateng had not initially considered going to SMU. “I hadn’t heard of SMU until I was looking for colleges,” he said. “Because my family didn’t have much experience with college, we had to figure out the process as I went along.” Boateng applied to SMU and to other Texas institutions. He received multiple acceptances and ultimately chose SMU.

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.

SMU expects to expand the program in future years to help more students, thanks in part to donors to SMU Giving Day and the SMU Ignited fundraising campaign. One of the campaign’s major goals is to empower outstanding students to attend SMU and succeed, regardless of financial means.

SMU expects to expand the program in future years to help more students, thanks in part to SMU Giving Day donors and SMU Ignited fundraising campaign donors.

According to Elizabeth Loboa, provost and vice president for academic affairs, “This is another bold step in SMU’s commitment to students and Texas. We want all outstanding students to learn more about SMU and to imagine themselves as a Mustang.”