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Saint Leo University Creates New Tuition, Financial Aid Programs

The goal of the new programs is to make a private university education accessible and affordable. The new Tuition Advantage Program will provide an opportunity for a bachelor's degree at no out-of-pocket tuition cost.

Tags: Catholic Promise Award Catholicism FAFSA Financial Aid Global Citizen Award Press Releases Tuition Tuition Advantage Program
27 October 2020 - By Mary McCoy
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Saint Leo University believes that the opportunity to earn a degree should be accessible, affordable, and obtainable for learners everywhere. As students across the nation begin submitting college applications, many are left thinking that a private university education is outside of their financial reach. To help students achieve their goals and dreams, the university is launching the Dare to Roar program, offering multiple options to help students cover the cost of their education and join the Lions community.

"Especially during these times, it is important to make higher education opportunities available to learners of all backgrounds, means, and aspirations," said Saint Leo President Jeffrey D. Senese. "Most people will be surprised at how affordable a private university learning experience can be. At Saint Leo, our Dare to Roar options will make some degree programs available at essentially no out-of-pocket cost."

Saint Leo's new Tuition Advantage Program will recognize high-achieving students throughout the state of Florida who demonstrate financial need. For Florida students with a 3.5 GPA or higher, whose families make an Adjusted Gross Income of less than $50,000 a year (based on 2019 tax return), the program will cover the student's full tuition after institutional, state, and federal funds are applied. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be determined to be Florida residents by Saint Leo's Student Financial Services Office to qualify.

Students who participate in the Tuition Advantage Program are eligible to attend University Campus, the university's residential campus for a bachelor's degree program at no tuition cost. The four-year estimated value of a Tuition Advantage financial aid package exceeds $100,000.

This program will help students from lower income families pursue and complete their degrees.

"Now more than ever, it is important for students to have access to a top-ranked private education within their home state at an affordable price," said Dr. Senthil Kumar, university vice president for Strategic Enrollment Management. "Saint Leo is a top performer on social mobility according to U.S. News & World Report, and it is our steadfast belief that we will continue to change the financial trajectory of students and their families for generations to come through this new program."

Saint Leo also is offering a new program to provide students with a high school GPA of 2.00 – 2.39 the opportunity to succeed in a private university academic experience. Through the new D2R Associate Degree Program, students are able to earn an associate degree on their way to obtaining a bachelor's degree. For less than $10,000 in tuition per year, students can earn a degree in one of four programs: Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts (60 credits), Associate of Arts in Business Administration (61 credits), Associate of Arts in Information Technology (64 credits), and Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice (60 credits).

By completing the D2R program, students also may become eligible for the Study Florida 50 percent tuition discount as they transition into a bachelor's degree program at University Campus.

Saint Leo also has expanded and updated its Catholic Promise Award. It now provides a stackable award of $3,000 per year for students working toward a bachelor's degree. This scholarship can be combined with academic scholarships, totaling up to a maximum of $17,000 per year. To be eligible, high school seniors must be U.S. citizens, graduate from a Catholic high school within the United States, and attend University Campus.

"As the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in Florida, we're proud to provide high school seniors across the United States with a unique opportunity to continue their Catholic education at a top-ranked Catholic university," Senese, the university president said.

Another new offering is the Global Citizen Award, which provides international students with a stackable award of $3,000 per year, and limited scholarships are available.

"Educating global citizens is a key pillar of Saint Leo's Benedictine tradition, and the university is proud to welcome students from more than 100 countries to study at Saint Leo University," Kumar said.

"At Saint Leo, we place high importance on serving our community," Senese said. "These programs will promote higher education for students from across the state and nation, from all economic backgrounds. These programs reaffirm our commitment, during these unprecedented times, to support students in expanding their horizons. As we say at Saint Leo, 'the roar is within.' We hope students will take advantage of these programs."

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2021 Semester. For more information, email or call (352) 588-8283. More information can be found at