TMC Noted in Study on Catholic Identity and Affordability

by Thomas More College on February 23, 2009

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts has been recognized in “College Affordability and Catholic Identity,” a study conducted by The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education, the research division of the Cardinal Newman Society.

“We are grateful to the Cardinal Newman Society for recognizing Thomas More College as a faithful Catholic college that is affordable to all,” said Thomas More College President Jeffrey O. Nelson. “I also congratulate my colleagues at the other institutions noted in this study for answering the call of our Holy Father to forge strong Catholic identities on their respective campuses,” Dr. Nelson added.

Founded in 1978, the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts seeks to form young people intellectually and spiritually within the Catholic intellectual tradition and guided by the Magisterial wisdom of the Catholic Church.

“Our tuition is among the lowest of our peer institutions—and of many state schools,” noted Jessica Rock, Thomas More College’s Director of Admissions.  “At Thomas More College, we are committed to forming a new generation of Catholic leaders without burdening them with decades of debt.  By keeping our tuition low, young men and women attending Thomas More College can leave with little or no debt, and be in a much stronger position to establish themselves as leaders in their respective fields whether it be in the business sector or forming a family.”

Thomas More College’s low tuition cost already covers a semester in Rome for every sophomore student.  For three full months, students study in the shadow of St. Peter’s successor, immersing themselves in the history and culture that has been the keystone of Western Civilization.

Tuition also covers Thomas More College’s internships and study centers that offer students real-world experience, preparing them for life after College and that all-important “first job.” Students intern at such prestigious locations as the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome, H2o News, the Culture of Life Foundation, and several other political, media, and non-profit agencies.

To reduce tuition even further, Thomas More College offers a wide variety of scholarship opportunities based on a demonstration of financial need and academic and extracurricular excellence.  Ninety-five percent of enrolled students receive some sort of financial aid from the college.

Thomas More College also offers the St. John Vianney and St. Katharine Drexel Scholarship Funds to graduates called to enter the religious life or priesthood.  This fund enables students to enter the seminary or convent immediately after graduation, transferring any unpaid debt back to the College rather than delaying their vocation until after their loans are paid off.

The Cardinal Newman Society’s study was conducted by Andrew Gillen, Ph.D., Research Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington, D.C., and found the Catholic colleges and universities recommended by the Cardinal Newman Society in the 2007 edition of its Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College are typically more affordable to students than other Catholic or private four-year colleges and universities.

Among the study’s key findings were that average tuition for students at these recommended institutions is about $3,000 less than other Catholic colleges and about $1,000 less than average private colleges.  Further, these recommended Catholic colleges provide a financial aid package amounting to 39% of the advertised tuition price, as opposed to 29% for private colleges, and graduates from these recommended colleges leave with fewer loans and less debt—roughly $2,000 less than graduates from private colleges and $1,400 less than their peers at other Catholic colleges.

“This study certainly comes as welcome news for parents and students given the current economic crisis,” Dr. Nelson noted. “It is times like these that parents and students look carefully at the return on their investment in a college education—one of the biggest investments a young man or woman will make during his or her life.  The wonderful educational and internship programs we have established at Thomas More College places us among the strongest investment returns available today.”

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