BY ISN STAFF | March 14, 2017
WHEELING, WV – Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) recently announced a groundbreaking new program that will give high-achieving, urban youth, who might not have the opportunity otherwise, an affordable way to receive a Jesuit education.
Jesuit STRONG – Scholars Trained and Ready for Our Next Generation – will empower high school graduates to achieve their next educational milestone by providing financial assistance to enroll in WJU and graduate with low debt. The education they receive will provide a pathway to meaningful employment or graduate school.
The Jesuit STRONG program is inspired by the success of the Cristo Rey High Schools model. Cristo Rey is a network of 30 Catholic prep schools across the U.S., which provide a private education to more than 10,000 under represented urban youth each year.
“Wheeling Jesuit University is a perfect place to establish Jesuit STRONG,” said Rev. James Fleming, S.J., president of WJU.
“Having already witnessed the success of our Jesuit STRONG Summer Academy, students now will have the ability to build on their high school accomplishments. We will be able to provide them with the tools to continue that success at the college level,” Fleming added.
In addition to making the university affordable, Jesuit STRONG focuses on building work-ready college graduates. Year-round on and off campus internships will be available for students to gain valuable employment experience.
Dr. Robert Phillips, WJU’s vice president for Academic Affairs said the Jesuit STRONG program prepares students for the workforce like no other.
“Wheeling Jesuit has always produced graduates who are critical thinkers, problem solvers and ethical leaders. This program allows us to build upon these strengths and provide practical experiences and professional development opportunities,” said Phillips.
Many incoming Jesuit STRONG students already have experienced college life, thanks to the Jesuit STRONG Summer Academy. WJU Admissions Representative, Danny Brosnan, said the cost for students enrolled in the four-year program will be minimal. Two-thirds of tuition and fees will be covered by the University and Jesuit STRONG benefactors, leaving one-third of the cost to the student.
“Wheeling Jesuit University is the most affordable Jesuit institution of higher education in the United States. Thanks to the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors, students enrolled in Jesuit STRONG will have the majority of their college tuition paid,” said Brosnan.
Seventy Cristo Rey High School seniors have already been accepted into WJU’s Jesuit STRONG program for the fall 2016 semester. Additionally, over the past 18 months, Wheeling Jesuit has raised more than $1 million for Jesuit STRONG from corporations, private foundations and individuals, including WJU alumni, staff and trustees.
Wheeling Jesuit University is an institutional member of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.