Using an algorithm incorporating high school GPA and SAT scores, we can predict a student’s GPA in biology at the end of SPU’s introductory undergraduate sequence. A disproportionate number of underrepresented students, however, are predicted to have lower grades. This finding instigated the development of the BioCORE Scholars Program in 2015. Its interventions include study cohorts, peer mentors, community role models, and research participation. Analysis of 5 years’ data shows, by the end of their first year, scholars outperformed students with similar predicted grades, irrespective of ethnicity (p = 0.001) and were more likely to complete the gateway biology sequence (p < 0.001). Significant improvements persisted beyond freshman year. Our data suggest early career interventions are crucial to student success and their sense of belonging on campus.