St. Mary’s University announces the launch of a new financial aid program, ‘Access St. Mary’s,’ which will enable members of the incoming freshman class of fall 2009 who have excelled in high school, and also have high financial need to have their tuition paid for at St. Mary’s University!
Officials at St. Mary’s are fully aware that the current economic climate presents considerable challenges to many families considering college. In response, President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. and the St. Mary’s Alumni Association approved the financial commitment for a new program to ensure that a quality, private, liberal-arts, Catholic education remains a viable option for students.
“There is the misconception that St. Mary’s as a private, liberal-arts University is too expensive,” said Dr. Cotrell, “when in fact we are very affordable. We don’t want to be off the table when students are considering where to go, especially during these tough economic times. When students choose St. Mary’s, they are getting a huge return on their investment because we have one of the highest graduation rates in Texas.”
Prospective full-time freshmen for fall 2009 who meet the following qualifications will be awarded the Access St. Mary’s program to cover the price of tuition:
  • eligible for a federal Pell Grant,
  • qualify for a St. Mary’s President’s or Trustee’s Academic Scholarship,
  • attend St. Mary’s full-time,
  • and will live in University housing.
The annual tuition is approximately $21,000. Access St. Mary’s is designed as a four-year commitment for students who meet the requirements for renewal. With the full price of tuition covered through gift assistance, students will be able to apply other aid for which they are eligible toward room, board and other fee charges.
Students must complete the undergraduate admission application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). “We encourage prospective students and parents to work together to complete the FAFSA,” said Suzanne Petrusch, vice president for enrollment management at St. Mary’s. “We have a financial aid priority date of March 31, but we will strive to accommodate every incoming freshman who meets the qualifications for Access St. Mary’s. Our knowledgeable financial assistance counselors are available to help students through the process.”
Access St. Mary’s is aligned with the P-16 Council of Greater Bexar County and the Closing The Gaps The Texas Higher Education Plan. The P-16 Plus Council’s initiatives and the Closing the Gaps program work to make accessibility to college a real possibility for students. Providing access to a quality education and helping those in need is an integral part of the St. Mary’s mission and President Cotrell is a member of the P-16 Plus Council.
If a student is not Pell Grant eligible and therefore doesn’t qualify for the Access St. Mary’s program, there are other gift aid packages and academic scholarships available. The majority of St. Mary’s students receive a tuition discount upon admission to the University. With a nearly 60 percent graduation rate of all students (including minorities) that is just one of the reasons why St. Mary’s University is ranked fourth in the West Region for quality and value in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category of the U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.” 
St. Mary’s University was founded in 1852 in San Antonio as a Catholic Marianist University whose mission is to foster the formation of people in faith and to educate leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence.

Students interested in applying to St. Mary’s and learning more about the Access St. Mary’s program, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance at (210) 436-3141 or (800) 367-7868.
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