Diocese, Carlow partner to offer tuition support

Friday, December 04, 2015 - Updated: 8:24 am
By JOHN FRANKO Staff Writer

Carlow University, in partnership with the Diocese of Pittsburgh, will recognize the commitment of parents who chose to invest in a Catholic elementary and secondary education for their children by offering Catholic Education University grants of up to $20,000. 

“We are excited to support the Diocese of Pittsburgh with these new university grants because they will help students to continue their Catholic education for four more years,” said Dr. Suzanne Mellon, Carlow’s president.

Mellon joined Bishop David Zubik in making the announcement during a Nov. 20 news conference on the Carlow campus.

Students who have attended Catholic schools from grades 1-12 are eligible for a $5,000 grant annually for four years. Those who attended a Catholic high school from grades 9-12 and graduated will be eligible for a $2,500 annual award.

The grants will be available to first-time, full-time students entering Carlow for the fall 2016 term. The assistance will be for a maximum of four years (eight semesters, excluding summer). Students must meet university and federal requirements for renewal.

“We’re excited about it,” Mellon said. “We’ll look for students who will continue to make a difference in the region.”

Bishop Zubik said the grants will offer a “golden” opportunity for parents to continue their child’s Catholic education as a matter of choice.

“Thank God that someone is helping us to fulfill the dreams of our sons and daughters,” he said.

Mellon pointed out that Carlow approached the diocese with the idea for the grants. She noted that the funding will not come through a specific donor but through general means of support. Officials do not have a ballpark figure of how many students will take advantage of the offer, she said.

“We’ll see how the first year goes and what the demand is for it,” she added.

Mellon, who was named Carlow’s 10th president in 2013, said the school believes that the grants will allow it to attract some of the brightest students. In pointing out that all four of her children attended Catholic schools from grades 1-12, she noted, “I can attest to the value of a Catholic education.”

Bishop Zubik noted that the cost of higher education can be overwhelming for families, and he said the grants can be a “seamless garment” for parents to have options for Catholic education. They can make a difference for families who have already invested a lot.

In noting that students who come from Catholic schools are “great achievers,” the bishop said Carlow offers an education centered on the whole person in a values-based setting.

He spoke of the annual spring break commissioning Mass at St. Paul Cathedral, in which students are recognized for spending their spring vacations in service to others. Carlow, he said, often has the highest number of students. It shows that the school offers more than academic discipline.

“It shows the spirit of Carlow,” he said.

Bishop Zubik later added that, like Duquesne University and La Roche College, Carlow has a strong Catholic tradition in the area. Carlow’s dream will not only allow students to take advantage of the great academic programs it offers, but it will mean so much to parents.

“They’re willing to do that, to take what I call that happy risk,” he said. “I think it’s going to pay great dividends for Carlow, for parents and for Catholic schools in the diocese.”

Mellon said that Pope Francis calls us to welcome people from different backgrounds, but while Carlow is open to students of all faith traditions, “We are a Catholic university, and that’s our tradition and what we have.”

The integration of faith-based values is vitally important, she said.

Located in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. There are 1,399 undergraduate students among the total student body of 2,272. Approximately 85 percent of the students are female, but the number of males has climbed in recent years.

The number of students increased by 2.7 percent this fall, but the number of new students rose by 17 percent.

For more information or to apply for the awards, contact Carlow’s Office of Admissions at 412-578-6059, or e-mail admissions@carlow.edu.

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