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UD nationally honored for tearing down financial barriers


One of several programs has earned the University of Dayton nationwide recognition for being a ‘High Flier’ — an institution creating and sustaining initiatives that enroll and graduate talented, lower-income students.

The University of Dayton is the only Ohio and Catholic school among 28 nationwide to receive the High Flyer distinction from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the American Talent Initiative.

The Flyer Promise scholarship, one of the programs that earned UD the High Flyer distinction, is given to gifted, graduating seniors who are Pell-grant eligible and who attend about a dozen area high schools working with UD. The scholarship covers four-year tuition and other financial support for housing, food, and books.

There are only 40 spots per freshman class.

"I don’t think I would have made it through a four-year institution without the support the 'Flyer Promise' gave me," Sam Lowe, a first-generation college student who graduated from UD in 2023 and is now working on a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at the university. “I met with my success professional multiple times a semester to check in, tell her how I was doing. Tell her my hopes if I was struggling with anything. They were the biggest support to me.”

Two other initiatives include the UD-Sinclair Academy. Students begin their education at Sinclair for their first two years and then transfer to UD. They can access resources at both schools.

The Kessler Scholars Program helps first generation college students get onto campus. Students begin at Sinclair and when they transfer to UD, they then get a full scholarship.

That is in addition to other financial and personal support.

“There is talent across the full American mosaic," proclaims Dan Porterfield. "In every community, in every zip code, in every neighborhood. I think of this university as a talent accelerator.” He's president and CEO of the Aspen Institute–one of the groups recognizing UD. He and several other higher-education and community partners were in Dayton to meet current and former students who've benefited from theses programs. “When an institution makes the hard commitment  which requires will and skill to find the funding and do the other kinds of work necessary for first generation college students to flourish-they then allow those students to have more to offer the Dayton community.”  

According to the university, that ‘more’ is translating into 62 students from Dayton Public Schools graduating UD — up from 24 over the past seven years. And it says ‘more’ graduates are settling in Dayton–thus revitalizing the city’s workforce.

Kathryn Mobley is an award-winning broadcast journalist, crafting stories for more than 30 years. She’s reported and produced for TV, NPR affiliate and for the web. Mobley also contributes to several area community groups. She sings tenor with World House Choir (Yellow Springs), she’s a board member of the Beavercreek Community Theatre and volunteers with two community television operations, DATV (Dayton) and MVCC (Centerville).

Email: kmobley@wyso.org
Cell phone: (937) 952-9924