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Financial Aid Increased for Evanston, Chicago High School Graduates

Northwestern creates 'Good Neighbor, Great University' program for local students

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August 16, 2010 | by Alan K. Cubbage
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will offer significantly increased financial aid to incoming freshmen who graduate from high schools in Evanston and Chicago, including eliminating loans and required work-study jobs and providing more scholarship funds. As a result, many students from those communities who need financial assistance will receive a scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition at Northwestern.

The new Good Neighbor, Great University Scholarship Program, which will begin with next year’s freshman class, will provide additional scholarship funds to students who need financial assistance. The scholarships will replace student loans, as well as earnings from summer and work-study jobs that students normally must contribute to the cost of their education.  Eliminating these components and replacing them with more scholarship funds could save a student as much as $7,500 per year, or $30,000 over four years. In addition, by eliminating loans, it means that students will not face the challenge of paying off student loan debt as soon as they graduate from college.

The creation of the Good Neighbor, Great University Scholarship program was a key recommendation of an all-University task force on diversity and inclusion that was co-chaired by Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Penelope Peterson, dean of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. The task force, which considered a variety of ways to increase diversity in the student population at Northwestern, included students, faculty, staff and members of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.

“Evanston and Chicago are homes to our campuses, and as such, we want to reach out to students from those communities,” President Schapiro said. “By instituting this program, we hope to remove any barriers regarding affordability that would prevent those students from being able to attend Northwestern.”

Students who graduate from either a public or private high school in the cities of Chicago and Evanston and who enter Northwestern as a first-year students starting in fall 2011 will be eligible for the Good Neighbor, Great University scholarships. Students must be admitted to Northwestern through either regular admission or the early decision process.

“Northwestern has a long-standing commitment to enrolling the very brightest students from around the world, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances and this new program is an extension of this commitment,” said Michael Mills, associate provost for enrollment management. “Students from low- and moderate-income families face significant obstacles on the road to earning a college degree, and we hope that this new scholarship makes their journey a little easier.”

Northwestern hopes to provide the Good Neighbor, Great University scholarships to approximately 100 first-year students fall 2011 and perhaps increase it to as many as 200 in the future, Mills said. Approximately 2,000 first-year students enroll at Northwestern each year.

An important component of the Good Neighbor, Great University initiative will be increased support programs for students, noted Peterson. “We want to ensure that we give these students strong academic, social and personal support once they get to Northwestern,” she said. “We want all our students to be successful and feel included.”

 For information on the Good Neighbor, Great University Scholarships, go to http://ug-finaid.northwestern.edu/ on the web.

Topics: University