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Drexel Launches Multi-Million Dollar Initiative to Increase Number of College-Educated Philadelphian

January 27, 2010

Drexel University will provide full-tuition and fees scholarships to 250 academically-talented Philadelphia high school students with significant financial need, over the next five years as part of a citywide initiative to increase the number of college-educated Philadelphians.

The multi-million dollar scholarship program is in-step with Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s call for area colleges and universities to offer more scholarships to city students. Nutter has called on area universities to add new scholarships for city students.

"Providing more Philadelphians with the opportunity to go to college is a priority for my Administration and is something that is central to our future success and prosperity," Nutter said. "City government is doing its part, creating a dedicated PhillyGoes2College office in City Hall and increasing the amount of financial aid coming to Philadelphia by almost $200 million last year. But there is much more to do and that's why I am so proud that Drexel has stepped up in a big way by creating the Liberty Scholars program, an opportunity for 250 students from Philadelphia schools to go to Drexel over the next five years.”

“This is a big boost to our efforts and I want to thank Drexel for its unwavering commitment to Philadelphia," he said.

The new program, called Drexel Liberty Scholars, will provide 50 scholarships per-year, over the next five years and be available to students attending public or private schools within the city limits.

Congressman Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), State Senator Vincent Hughes (D., Pa.), State Representative James Roebuck, Jr (D., Pa.), Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Drexel Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Greenawalt, President C.R. “Chuck” Pennoni and Philadelphia’s Chief Education Officer Lori Shorr will formally announce the program January 28. Mayor Nutter will congratulate Drexel on the initiative via a taped video appearance played at the event.

“This program demonstrates our 119-year commitment to increasing the accessibility of top-ranked higher education to Philadelphia youth,” Pennoni said.

Students from schools including public, private, parochial, charter and prep schools in the city will be eligible for the full-tuition and fees scholarships. City residents who were educated outside of the city, home schooled, or completed a GED will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“The Drexel Liberty Scholars program will provide new opportunities to outstanding Philadelphia students who would not normally be able to afford a college education,” said Joan McDonald, senior vice president of enrollment management.

As part of the scholarship’s applications process, high school students will submit an essay describing what programs they would implement to improve Philadelphia, if they were mayor in 2030. Applicants will visit the campus and interview with the scholarship’s selection committee. Liberty Scholars will participate in learning communities, which enhance the academic experience with additional enrichment opportunities.

For more information about the Drexel Liberty Scholars program, visit http://www.drexel.edu/financialaid/libertyscholars/

Students in learning communities lead and organize their own activities and facilitate access to important Drexel resources, including academic advising, tutoring, review sessions, and informal gatherings with faculty, deans and University officials.

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News Media Contact:

Noah Cohen, Office of University Relations 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or noah.cohen@drexel.edu

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