Nathan Howard ’25
On September 14, 2022, Holy Cross President Vincent D. Rougeau announced that the College was chosen to partner with the Schuler Education Foundation, which strives to “equip high-achieving and underrepresented students to gain access to and succeed at highly selective colleges and beyond. Schuler Scholars are typically first-generation college-bound, are students of color, or come from low-income families.” The Schuler Education Foundation has given Holy Cross a $20 million matching grant to support students who are undocumented, low-income, or Pell-eligible. Through the Schuler Access Initiative, the Schuler Education Foundation will match the College’s fundraising efforts “dollar-for-dollar over the next 10 years, for a total of $40 million.” In his announcement, President Rougeau explained that “The Schuler Access Initiative vividly reflects our Jesuit mission to serve the greater good. We look forward to engaging with our alumni, donors and friends to raise the funds to meet the match, and supporting these deserving young scholars.”
The Schuler Education Foundation selected only five schools this year to join the Schuler Access Initiative. This includes the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Barnard College in New York, Centre College in Kentucky, Scripps College in California, and Trinity College in Connecticut. Along with this, Holy Cross joins Carleton College in Minnesota, Kenyon College in Ohio, Union College in New York, Bates College in Maine, and Tufts University in Massachusetts as the “inaugural cohort” of Schuler Education Foundation partner schools. When speaking about the new colleges joining both the Schuler Education Foundation as well as the Schuler Access Initiative, the foundation’s co-founder Tanya Schuler Sharman stated that “The Schuler Access Initiative will allow all 10 colleges, and hopefully many more, to open up more seats for these deserving students and push forward the important conversation liberal arts institutions need to have to close the divide in an unequal society.”
Colleges who qualify for partnerships with the Schuler Education Foundation must meet at least 80% of students’ financial needs, have a donor-concentrated base committed to investing in opportunities for undocumented, low-income, and Pell-eligible students, and have a successful record of supporting these students throughout their college experience. Holy Cross has proven their commitment to education accessibility for many years. Holy Cross meets 100% of every student’s full demonstrated financial need and currently provides approximately $64.3 million each year in financial aid. Furthermore, Holy Cross has had a strong history of both recruiting and graduating Pell-eligible and undocumented students.
The College’s partnership with the Schuler Education Foundation is one of many significant efforts made by the College in recent years to make the Holy Cross education and experience more accessible. In 2022, Holy Cross became a QuestBridge partner college and completed the Hope + Access Campaign for Financial Aid, which raised more than $56 million to improve student financial accessibility. In 2021, Holy Cross was named a First-Generation Forward Institution by the Center For First Generation Student Success, and in 2018, Holy Cross joined the American Talent Initiative, which utilized contributions to nationally increase the number of first-generation students attending college by 50,000.
Photo courtesy of Holy Cross