CLEVELAND — One of Cleveland's most renowned institutions of higher learning is lessening the financial burden for prospective students in the community it serves.
Case Western Reserve University President Dr. Eric W. Kaler announced Wednesday that the school would be enacting a "dramatic expansion" of its Cleveland Scholars Program by covering the full cost of attendance to all admitted graduates from both the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and East Cleveland City Schools. The initiative previously paid the cost of tuition, at minimum, but the university says the change "eliminates initial financial uncertainties."
"Cost will not keep these terrific students from attending Case Western Reserve," Kaler said in a statement. "We are committed to our community, and committed to these promising students. We want them to have every opportunity to thrive on our campus."
The revamped initiative also eliminates the need for student loans and applies to things like on-campus housing, books, supplies, and personal expenses. In addition, qualified students will receive "mentored, paid research or internship experience" directly through CWRU.
The Cleveland Scholars Program first launched in 2017 and is supported by partners like College Now Greater Cleveland, Say Yes! Cleveland (which covers virtually all tuition for CMSD grads, regardless of college choice), and The John Huntington Fund for Education, among others. The new scholarships will take effect for Cleveland and East Cleveland native students enrolling at Case beginning in fall 2024.
McKenzie Page is a freshman at Cleveland Metropolitan School District's MC2 STEM High School. She and some of her classmates told 3News that they were shocked by the news from Case.
"It was crazy. It was good news. I was excited because I never get these opportunities to do these things," Page said. "This is a good experience for all of us that we can get this opportunity. I don't think I would've made it if I didn't have this."
Many said they wouldn't have been able to afford the additional costs without this program.
"It's a luxury, kind of, because not all people get the same experience," added Camden Williams.
CMSD CEO Dr. Warren Morgan said:
"We are thrilled that Case Western Reserve University is expanding the Cleveland Scholars Program. The decision represents an extraordinary act of generosity that will make a difference in the lives of deserving CMSD students. The fact that some of our most talented graduates will now have extra incentive to continue their education at one of America's leading universities will pay immediate dividends to CWRU and all of Northeast Ohio."
To be eligible, students must first gain admission to Case Western Reserve while attending either a Cleveland public high school or East Cleveland Shaw High School for their last two years of pre-university education. Those attending any charter schools partnering with CMSD will also qualify.