With a mission to provide access and opportunity to the “highest-value Lutheran Christian higher education possible,” Concordia University announced today the Concordia Promise dual credit (early college start) initiative. The Concordia Promise offers high school students the unprecedented opportunity to complete one year of a liberal arts undergraduate degree cost-free. Program information is available online at http://concordiapromise.com/.
According to data released in November 2014 by the Institute for College Access and Success, seven in 10 (69%) graduating seniors at public and private nonprofit colleges had student loans in 2013, with an average debt burden of $28,400. While the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) reported that out-of-pocket net tuition at Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit institutions was under $5,500, increasing costs for higher education has led to staggering levels of lifelong debt for more and more students and their families.
The Concordia Promise helps solve this crisis. Under the program, enrolled students pay a reduced tuition cost of $50 per credit hour. Students are then eligible to participate in the Concordia Promise Plus, a scholarship in the amount paid for the dual credit courses that is applied toward their undergraduate tuition if students choose to attend Concordia University Wisconsin or Ann Arbor.
“At our core, we are dedicated to ensure that a lifelong Christ-centered education is within the reach of more and more students,” shares Concordia’s President, the Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry. “The Concordia Promise pays forward to a student’s undergraduate experience, and makes an excellent Concordia education an opportunity that is more affordable, more accessible, and ultimately, more valuable.”
Our first focus is to prepare students for a lifetime of success,” shares Dave Burgess, executive director of Racine High School. “The Concordia Promise dual credit program provides a remarkable advantage, academically and financially, for students to pursue their future goals, while completing their high school diploma.”
In the spring semester of 2015, the Concordia Promise is being made available exclusively to Lutheran and Christian high schools and homeschool families nationwide. Plans to expand the program to private and area public high schools are under discussion. “We are living in a time of exceptional disruption in higher education,” adds Dr. Bernard Bull, assistant vice president of Academics who oversees Concordia’s Office of Continuing and Distance Education, where the program is housed. “This crisis calls us, as a Christian institution, to step up and lead the innovation of better solutions to meet the challenges we face. The Concordia Promise is one way that we can make a significant impact for students.”
For more information on this program, contact Concordia’s Dual Credit Coordinator, Kathryn Baganz, atKathryn.Baganz@cuw.edu or 262-243-2077.
— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-243-2149.
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