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UofL launches program to make college degree more affordable

January 4th, 2007

The University of Louisville is doing its part to fight rising higher education costs in Kentucky.

Starting this fall, the university plans to offer Cardinal Covenant, a program intended to make college attainable for Kentucky students who otherwise might not be able to go.

“We are promising students from low-income families that they can attend college and graduate debt-free if they follow certain rules,” said UofL President James Ramsey, who unveiled the program Jan. 4. It will go before UofL trustees Jan. 11 for final approval.

Cardinal Covenant is targeted to the 22.6 percent of Kentucky families who live at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guideline, he said. Eligible students will receive the full cost of tuition, room, board and books until they graduate as long as they meet all program rules.

To qualify, students must:

“Basically, we’re committing to making up the difference between the amount of their scholarships and grants and their actual college costs,” Ramsey said.

The university also will offer mentoring and advising for students in the program to help them succeed, and it will award federal work-study money to participating students so they can earn spending money while they are in college.

The program, the first of its kind in Kentucky, is modeled after the University of North Carolina’s Carolina Covenant program, which began in 2003.

UofL expects to enroll some 150 students in the program this fall at a first-year cost of about $250,000.

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Cardinal Covenant

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