At the October 18, 2022 regular board meeting of the Athens Area School District, the Board of Education unanimously approved an agreement between the Athens Area School District and Commonwealth University which will guarantee admission and up to $28,000 in Scholarships for students.
Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield, together as Commonwealth University and 14 school districts in central Pennsylvania, have signed an agreement guaranteeing admission, eligibility for merit-based scholarships, and on-campus housing at any of its locations.
The school districts included in the agreements are: Athens Area, Canton Area, Coudersport Area, Galeton Area, Northeast Bradford, Northern Potter, Northern Tioga, Sayre Area, Southern Tioga; Sullivan County, Towanda Area, Troy Area, Wellsboro Area, Wyalusing Area.
The signing is the second of three planned in October. It will bring together 50 school districts from Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania and guarantee their graduates admission and the chance for a financially responsible degree option to prepare for in-demand careers at one of the three campuses of Commonwealth University.
The agreement guarantees admission for the graduates who enroll in a bachelor's degree program and who meet the following criteria:
• Apply for admission to any location within Commonwealth University no later than December 15 of the student's senior year.
• Graduate from their respective school districts.
Those graduates would be eligible for four tiers of academic merit scholarships according to the following academic preparedness of the student applicant:
• Tier 1 - 95% or above or 3.8 to 4.0 cumulative GPA - $28,000; $7,000 annually
• Tier 2 - 90-94% or above or 3.5 to 3.79 cumulative GPA - $24,000; $6,000 annually
• Tier 3 - 85-89% or above or 3.0 to 3.49 cumulative GPA - $16,000; $4,000 annually
• Tier 4 - 80-84% or above or 2.5 to 2.99 cumulative GPA - $12,000; $3,000 annually
All scholarship recipients must remain enrolled full-time at Commonwealth University for a minimum of 12 credits per academic semester and maintain an overall GPA of 2.50 to remain in good academic standing and, therefore, eligible for the scholarship.
The scholarship is renewable for up to four academic years, or eight consecutive fall and spring academic semesters, if the criteria above are met.
On-campus housing at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, or Mansfield campuses, will be guaranteed for up to four (4) years of full-time student enrollment.
Nursing, physician assistant, and other health professions programs remain selective and have additional requirements or capacities. For these programs, it is vital that students apply as early as possible to these majors to receive early consideration for admission.
"These agreements signify the power of partnership to make a significant impact in the lives of our region's students. We are fortunate to have academically talented and driven high school students in our region who will thrive as Huskies, Bald Eagles, and Mounties. We look forward to welcoming them to our campuses," said Bashar W. Hanna, Commonwealth U president.
"This agreement assures students from our partner school districts who work hard and display a spirit and resolve to complete a college degree have the opportunity to attend our institution at an affordable cost. Student success is at the heart of what we do, and our mission to prepare students for their future careers results in 99% of our graduates being employed or in graduate programs within a year of graduation. With more access to academic programs, professional experiences, internships, and uncommon experiences, these students have opportunities far and above what any one location could offer independently. This partnership harnesses the 'Power of Three' for our students, their families, and our community."
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Diana Rogers-Adkinson spoke of how this will benefit both the students and employers in the region.
"This agreement will benefit the students we serve, including the portion who are first-generation students," Rogers-Adkinson said. "Now it will be even easier and more affordable for them to continue their studies at one of our Commonwealth U locations to earn their degree."
"In addition, this agreement will benefit workforce development in our region and beyond," Rogers-Adkinson said. "Keeping our best and brightest in our region will strengthen our communities for years to come."
Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield are boldly investing in the people and communities of Pennsylvania, together as Commonwealth University. The University is an affordable, student-centered academic powerhouse where the leading programs of our legacy institutions not only remain but grow even stronger. More than 80% of CU students are enrolled in foundational, in-demand programs like:
• Business Administration
• Early Childhood Education
• Special Education
• Criminal Justice
• Applied Computer Science
• Social Work
• Media and Journalism
• Exercise Science
• Health Sciences w/ pre-professional pathways
Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield also continue to offer student activities, clubs, events, and campus life for an unforgettable college experience. A full complement of NCAA athletic programs at each campus leads the spirit of Huskies, Bald Eagles, and Mountaineers.
According to Tom Fletcher, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategic Partnerships, "This agreement further solidifies the great working relationship we have with our local school districts. And now, with our Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, Mansfield, and Clearfield locations, Commonwealth University offers even more benefits for students and their families. It's a powerful combination."
To see the complete list of schools and for more details visit: commonwealthu.edu/local