Louisiana high school students attending Tulane University next year from low and middle-income families will be doing so without the burden of student loans, with the introduction of the Louisiana Promise Program, as reported by Article from WWLTV.
These students admitted to Tulane as full-time freshmen will be meeting the school’s “full financial need,” a program with an income threshold of $100,000 in adjusted gross income. However, this is not simply to say that Tulane University, the New Orleans-area private research institution, will be giving each freshman who meets the threshold a “full ride.” Instead, this achievement traditionally means that the families of those qualifying will only pay the amount determined by FAFSA, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid.
The amount that families of those applying will be expected to pay is determined by the family’s income, as each year families fill out the FAFSA, listing their adjusted gross income, obligations, and assets. A formula determines the amount that a family can afford to pay toward a college tuition, with the cost being as low as $0 in some cases.
However, starting with next year’s incoming class, these families will be paying toward their freshman’s education without applying for or taking out student loans, which many in the state rely upon.
Louisiana Promise No Loan Assistance Scholarship is the name of Tulane University’s comprehensive plan to make higher education institutions more accessible to all Louisiana students. In addition to the financial aid commitment, the initiative also establishes a new college prep center in New Orleans as well as access to Pre-College Summer Programs. Said programs provide 50 full scholarships to select students who have been nominated by a counselor, teacher, or community-based organization to attend the two-week residential program.
Applicants to the Louisiana Promise program need only be Louisiana residents who have graduated from a Louisiana high school and whose families make less than $100,000 a year. Those applying will have to first be admitted as a first-time, full-time freshman for a Fall Semester, beginning in Fall 2021, and they’ll need to qualify for Tulane need-based Scholarships by April 15th.
In addition to the scholarship aspects of the program, Tulane University is also expanding its reach in the New Orleans metro area by establishing a new college prep center aimed at engaging first-generation students as well as those who have been underrepresented, never considering attending Tulane or other selective universities as a viable option for them.
This center will run a free program directed at teaching students about the college application process, navigating the financial aid process, and preparing students to take standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT. The center will also educate interested parents about the university application process while connecting them to other families who are new to the process and well-versed in what is required.
Highlighting the program’s mission, Tulane President Michael Fitts said, “Louisiana Promise is a commitment to our state and community to make higher education more accessible, if a Louisiana student’s dream is to come to Tulane, we don’t want financial concerns to be a barrier for them to become a part of the Tulane family. These programs will help keep the state’s best and brightest students in Louisiana.”
As only 11 percent of all Tulane undergraduate students come from Louisiana, the program is also an effort to raise that number by expanding the school’s reach to new demographics.
New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell celebrated this effort made by Tulane to bridge the gap between the University and low income Louisiana students by saying, “I want to applaud Tulane University for its launch of the Louisiana Promise program, which will create pathways for Louisiana high school students to attend Tulane. This builds upon their investment that I have the honor of committing to through the Mayoral Scholarship program.”
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