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University of Dayton Joins Say Yes to Education National Higher Education Compact

The University of Dayton has pledged support to Say Yes to Education, a nonprofit that works with communities toward a goal of graduating every high school student and sending them to college.

The more than 100 colleges and universities in the Say Yes to Education National Higher Education Compact, located in 26 states and the District of Columbia, help high-achieving lower-income students in partner communities receive financial aid to cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees.

“We are proud to support the incredible work of Say Yes to make a difference in the lives of students no matter their socio-economic background,” said UD President Eric F. Spina. “The organization’s efforts align with our own commitment to college access and affordability, academic excellence, and our Marianist tradition of inclusion and community.”

Say Yes partner communities have a majority of public school students from low-income and other backgrounds who are historically underrepresented on college campuses. Partners include the cities of Cleveland, Ohio (announced on Jan. 18); Syracuse and Buffalo, New York; and Guilford County, North Carolina. Communities enlist support from their governments; school districts; parents; teachers; businesses; unions; philanthropic and faith-based organizations; and higher education institutions.

Students are not only eligible for financial aid for college, but receive academic, social-emotional and other support starting as early as pre-K to help them eliminate barriers to postsecondary education. Services vary by community but may include tutoring; after-school programming; college application and FAFSA guidance; free legal assistance; and counseling.

The University of Dayton will offer scholarships to up to 10 new students per year from Say Yes communities, focusing on students from Cleveland.

The commitment is UD’s latest step toward making a degree affordable and accessible to students who face financial barriers. In recent years, the University created the Flyer Promise Scholars program for students who attend select partner high schools. The program offers significant financial aid as well as a range of academic enrichment, mentoring and leadership opportunities. The University and Sinclair Community College in Dayton also created the UD Sinclair Academy to ease the pathway to a four-year degree for students who start their education at Sinclair. Students receive financial assistance and have access to University facilities and amenities, including athletic events, peer mentoring and the opportunity to join student clubs while taking classes at Sinclair. Additionally, the University joined the American Talent Initiative, a growing alliance of colleges and universities dedicated to substantially expanding opportunity and access for low- and moderate-income students, to share best practices on how to help talented students earn a degree from the nation’s top colleges.


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