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Aquinas College will offer students full tuition to low-income families

marzo 12, 2024
Aquinas College will offer students full tuition to low-income families

Grand Rapids, MI – Aquinas College will waive tuition for freshmen from low-income families beginning fall 2024.


The private liberal arts university this week announced a new scholarship program, Aquinas Assurance, that will pay full tuition for first-year students from low-income families.


Aquinas College, Western Michigan’s only Catholic college, is located at 1700 Fulton Street and has an enrollment of about 1,400 students. President Alicia R. Cordova said the new plan is designed to make tuition at Catholic schools more affordable and make quality education accessible to all.


“Affordability has been a priority for us since my first day as president of Aquinas College,” Cordova said in a statement released by the college. “We are proud to invest in our students and our community through the Aquinas Guarantee.”


According to the university’s website, full tuition at Aquinas is $37,720 this year. Students also pay an annual fee of $800.


To be eligible for an Aquinas-funded scholarship, students must meet the following criteria


Be eligible for the maximum Federal Pell Grant.
Be eligible for the full Michigan Achievement Scholarship.
Be eligible for a full Michigan scholarship.
Graduate from high school in spring 2024 with at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by May 1, 2024.
Each year, Aquinas College expects about 10 percent of freshmen to be eligible for the Aquinas Guarantee, said Dave DeJonge, senior director of strategic communications at Aquinas College. The university enrolls about 300 new students each year, including freshmen and transfer students.


DeJonge explained that the new scholarship program has been in the works for several months. He noticed that some freshmen were receiving scholarships and Pell grants at the same time, leaving them with little money for tuition, so he wanted to see if the university could offer full tuition.


«One of Aquinas College’s main goals is to make tuition affordable for everyone,» he told MLive, «but because we are a private college, tuition is expensive, so our financial aid staff has been working hard to find creative solutions to help students attend.»


Brian Matzke, vice president of enrollment management at Aquinas, said the new scholarship program could ease many students’ concerns about paying tuition.


«Our vision for education focuses on the development of the whole person, and to achieve that goal, we must meet the needs of our students,» Matzke said in a statement. «The Aquinas Guarantee will ease students’ financial concerns and will allow them to focus on their studies and discover their goals, which is another step to guarantee their success.»


To be eligible for the Aquinas Guarantee, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits of their current study program and have a satisfactory academic standing. Students can receive the scholarship for a maximum of five years starting in the 2024-2025 academic year.


The scholarships do not cover accommodation, meals or non-standard fees. This year, on-campus housing ranges from $2,551 to $4,082 per semester and meal plans range from $299 to $3,375 per semester.