2011 College Access & Opportunity Guide Cites SHU for Distinction

News Story: August 1, 2010

In acknowledgement of its outstanding efforts to serve and support students from first-generation, low-income, and otherwise underserved backgrounds, Sacred Heart University has been included in the 2011 College Access & Opportunity Guide. This comprehensive college guidebook is dedicated to promoting college opportunity for the traditionally underserved. The Guide, produced by the Center for Student Opportunity, credits Sacred Heart for a number of dynamic programs that enhance access, opportunity and the pursuit of success.

Sacred Heart has distinctive programs that make the college experience both affordable and more successful. For example, the University offers a tuition-free program for students admitted from Fairfield County with family incomes below $50,000. And its GE Foundation Scholars Program initiative offers a unique combination of financial assistance and enrichment opportunities. This ambitious effort provides financial aid for qualified minority students with a demonstrated interest in math, science or related quantitative disciplines.

According to James Barquinero, Sacred Heart’s vice president for Enrollment Planning and Student Affairs, the University is committed to “offering programs and services that can help all our students reach their full potential, and so we are very proud to be profiled in this guide. For 47 years now, Sacred Heart has worked hard to provide access to a first-rate college education that is both accessible and affordable. This is the kind of information families and prospective students need to know when considering which college is right for them."

According to the College Board, high-achieving students from low-income families have about the same chance of enrolling in college as low-achieving students from wealthier families. And those who do make it to college are not finding supportive college environments or graduating. A recent USA Today article notes that 89 percent of low-income, first-generation students leave college within six years without a degree. The featured colleges in this year’s guidebook were selected for inclusion by a national independent advisory committee comprised of college presidents and chief administrators, college access and community-based organization leaders, and higher education association officials.

Furthering its mission to serve first-generation, low-income and minority college-bound students, SHU is sponsoring distribution of the College Access & Opportunity Guide to high schools and community organizations. The book also is available through the Center for Student Opportunity’s website and at national booksellers.