Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow meets with Pontiac students

Bacow ensures students Harvard is not out of reach

PONTIAC, Mich. – The Pontiac Public School District welcomed home one of its most famous alumni Thursday. 

Harvard University President, Lawrence Bacow is a Pontiac Native. Today, he met with Pontiac students and teachers. The discussion helped prepare the students for college. 

"When I left Pontiac, this was still a place which was booming. It was a place with enormous economic opportunity. You could graduate from Pontiac Central on a Friday and go to work in one of the three assembly plants here on a Monday and pretty much be guaranteed a comfortable middle class existence," Bacow said.  

Pontiac is different these days. The socio-economic landscape has changed. But the message for Pontiac high school students has not.

The message is: Harvard and other ivy league schools might seem far away, but they are not out of reach. 

He wanted students to know that their living situation does not have to be a box that traps them.  According to Bacow, 17 percent of the students who enrolled at Harvard this year were the first in their families to go to college. He said there are students at Harvard who were homeless at the time they were admitted. 

Bacow also said that, if your family makes less than $65,000 a year, you pay nothing for college, and your tuition is covered by a scholarship.  

Students learned that, if they can get into Harvard, there is a place for them there, and they heard it from a man who has pretty much walked a mile in their shoes. 


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