St. Louis-area high school students work in a lab during UMSL Bridge Program summer classes in this 2011 file photo. (Photo by August Jennewein)

When the rest of their friends are sleeping this summer, hundreds of high school students are lining up for 8 a.m. classes at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The UMSL Bridge Program, the university’s award-winning precollegiate program, is now in its 26th year. And its enrollment has climbed to more than 400 this summer including its middle-school program.

You can also find many of the same students enrolled in Bridge’s Saturday Academy during the school year. And parents attend their own Saturday morning classes learning about the college admissions process and financial aid. When it comes time for those students to graduate from high school, 100 percent are accepted into college or other post-secondary institutions.

A recent story in the St. Louis Beacon chronicles Bridge’s history and some of the reasons for its extraordinary success.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel