Lenoir-Rhyne University announced today an innovative, new program to provide a minimum of 50 percent off tuition for any first-year undergraduate student with a 3.5 or higher high school GPA who is a Catawba County resident or to a transfer undergraduate student from Catawba County with more than 30 attempted hours from an accredited college and a 3.5 GPA.
Called the Catawba County Promise, the program will reward local high school and transfer students who have a B+ average with a guaranteed—and significant—minimum level of financial aid. Through this and other initiatives, LR hopes to build on the success of this year's incoming class which enrolled more than 500 students for the first time in our history.
"The Catawba County Promise is a game changer for local students," said Dr. Fred Whitt, president of Lenoir-Rhyne University. "Many people think they cannot afford a private, liberal arts education like Lenoir-Rhyne, and I hope this will help local prospective students and their families realize that the small class sizes, personalized attention, and outstanding faculty that are the hallmarks of a Lenoir-Rhyne education are well within reach."
The Promise grew out of the partnership between LR and K64, a local initiative involving Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory Public Schools, Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover Schools, Catawba County, the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and the Catawba County Economic Development Corp. K64 aims to meet local workforce needs by increasing pathways for students and aligning educational opportunities to help drive the economy.
"We are thrilled to partner with K64 on the Catawba County Promise," said Whitt. "And we look forward enrolling more talented students from our local public and private schools, as well as transfer students from Catawba Valley Community College."
Tuition for the 2018-19 academic year is $36,400 for a full-time undergraduate student, meaning a student who qualifies for the Catawba County Promise would receive financial aid of at least $18,200.
"We are grateful to Lenoir-Rhyne University and Dr. Fred Whitt for making this educational opportunity possible for the students of Catawba County. The reduced tuition costs will enable many students to receive an excellent education without leaving their homes and families," said Mark Story, CEO of the K64 Initiative, a local initiative to prepare students of all ages for viable and sustainable careers. "This K-64 partnership with Lenoir-Rhyne University is an excellent example of how our community leaders are working together to create a vibrant economic future for Catawba County."
Catawba County residents who apply to LR and meet the qualifications will automatically be a part of the program; no separate application is required. Students will be required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and the program will be inclusive of all institutional, federal and state grant programs.
More information is available at lr.edu/catawbapromise.