DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College, a private, a four-year Catholic liberal arts college, has partnered with national nonprofit Strive for College to strengthen college opportunities for low-income, first-generation college students.
“Being a first-generation student, I hope to pave the path for the next generation in my family,” Emanuel Rivera, a freshman at Loras, said. “By completing college, I open more opportunities for myself financially. Only then will I be able to give back to those who’ve helped me.”
An estimated 24 percent of students enrolled in college are low-income, first-generation college students. But only 10 percent of these students earn a bachelor’s degree six years out from high school.
“The alarming dropout rate illustrates the importance of programs that promote better college opportunities for these students,” says Strive for College Founder and CEO Michael J. Carter, “Alongside Loras College, we aim to change this trend.”
Strive’s virtual mentoring program connects aspiring college students with dedicated mentors to receive one-on-one guidance and support through the college admissions and financial aid process. Strive’s technology platform has advanced communications features like video chat and data-powered college matching tools to help students discover and connect with Loras.
“Loras is committed to offering programs and services that help all our students reach their full potential,” Jim Collins, president of Loras, said. “This is the kind of community and resource that prospective students and families need when considering which college is right for them.”
Loras recently created the First Generation Scholars Program that offers a $1,500 scholarship. First-generation students who participate are eligible for additional funds beyond their initial acceptance award. Awards are renewable with continued program participation.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.