About Us

Black SAIL student talks to man wearing suit

About Us

The Student Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) is an innovative bridge program that serves middle and high school students from underrepresented backgrounds, including both low-income and those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Our aim is to encourage teens, through early exposure and exploration, to believe they can succeed at higher education. During the summer, SAIL offers free, week-long day and residential programs on the University of Oregon campus. Students learn from distinguished UO faculty members through fun, interactive and social activities.

SAIL students dancing

Our Vision

We believe that higher education is a right, not a privilege, and aspire to a world where every student has the tools and support to succeed in higher education, regardless of background or circumstance.

Read Our Statement on Black Lives Matter and Dreamers »

Our Mission

Our goal is to have students attend up to four years of SAIL and to emerge with the belief that applying to college is the natural next step in their lives. We work to give them the tools they will need to go from admission to graduation.

Centering students
Inspiring love of learning
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Increase awareness of higher education
Ensure student success in college
Eliminate barriers and provide resources
Expand diversity and cultural awareness
Engage statewide community
Increase faculty and staff participation
SAIL students look at nature

Our History

SAIL was launched in 2005 by professors in the Department of Economics who wanted to take an active part in increasing the economic diversity of the UO student body.

Our efforts have focused mainly on high schools in the Eugene/Springfield area with low socio-economic status and four-year college enrollment rates under 30%. In 2019 we began offering a dormitory experience for teens from elsewhere in Oregon.

The SAIL staff strives to make the summer programs an intensive and enjoyable introduction to what college life is like. UO professors volunteer their time to engage the students in the subjects they are passionate about because they believe education can be the key to a better life.