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Closing the Gap

Access and Affordability Report

A Mission in Motion

As a Catholic, Marianist university dedicated to the common good, enhancing access and affordability is core to the University of Dayton's identity. It's our mission.

In recent years, the University has implemented several initiatives to improving financial access and student success for all students. Already the University has made substantial progress toward our goals – and we're just getting started.

Here, you can read about our signature access and affordability programs, along with the impact they've made to date.



retention rate of Flyer Promise Scholars, our signature access program for Pell-eligible students

$10 million

reduction in student loan borrowing under our four-year tuition plan

We are committed to improving financial access and student success for talented students who might have thought a UD degree was out of reach. This work is at the heart of everything we do.

Jason Reinoehl

VP, Strategic Enrollment Management.

Progress Toward Affordability Goals

  • National Pell Grant Trends
  • Pell Grant Eligibility at UD
  • UD Graduation Rate Comparison
  • Pell Grant Enrollment Trends Since 2011-12

    While enrollment of Pell Grant-eligible students has decreased at many other institutions, the University of Dayton has seen increased enrollment.

    Pell Grant Eligibility of UD's Entering Cohort

    We are working to increase the number of Pell Grant-eligible students at the University of Dayton

    Difference in Graduation Rates Between Pell- and Non-Pell-Eligible Students

    We are working to ensure that the six-year graduation rate for Pell Grant-eligible students is equivalent to the rate for non-Pell Grant-eligible students.


    first-year students who were Pell Grant-eligible in fall 2019 — a record number for the University


    Six-year graduation rate, a University record that resulted from our affordability initiatives


    high-achieving, underrepresented students enrolled in the first three Flyer Promise cohorts

    Four Ways We're Increasing Access and Affordability

    American Talent Initiative

    UD is expanding the impact of our own efforts to recruit and support students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds by sharing our best practices through the American Talent Initiative, an alliance of the nation’s top-performing colleges and universities. Collectively, ATI members are working to expand access — with a shared goal of educating 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students by 2025. UD President Eric F. Spina is a member of the nine-member steering committee.

    American Talent Initiative

    UD Sinclair Academy

    UD Sinclair Academy, a partnership between the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College, was designed to ease the pathway to a four-year degree. Students are part of both campus communities from day one, and they have access to UD advising, research opportunities, facilities and amenities while taking classes at Sinclair. The Academy also helps make a four-year education more affordable. Academy students lock in tuition for their junior and senior years at the rate in effect when they enter the Academy.

    UD Sinclair Academy

    Flyer Promise

    Launched in 2016, Flyer Promise removes financial barriers for high-achieving, lower-income students at select partner high schools. In addition to receiving significant financial funding, students benefit from academic enrichment, mentoring and leadership opportunities. There are currently 131 Flyer Promise Scholars; the program boasts a 99% retention rate.

    Flyer Promise

    Four-Year Tuition Plan

    In 2013, the University of Dayton embarked on a bold plan — eliminate fees and hold steady the net tuition a student pays from year one to year four. In addition to providing families peace of mind when it comes to cost, the plan has led to a record six-year graduation rate (81.6%) and reduced student borrowing by over $10 million compared to pre-plan graduates.

    Four-Year Tuition Plan
    Chapel in springtime

    Closing the Gap

    Talent does not know ZIP code or race, birthright or income level. Innate talent is a precious gift. If we are to advance our society, American higher education must scour the country for talented young people no matter their socioeconomic background, enroll them and support their success.

    Continue Reading President's Blog
    Archway entrance to campus

    The Case for Price Transparency

    Higher education has a cost transparency problem. It’s not hard to argue why colleges must do better. But beyond the moral and ethical reasons that institutions should be completely clear about price, there is a practical argument: Colleges have nothing to lose by being transparent.

    Continue Reading Op-Ed in University Business

    Connect With President Eric F. Spina