Jarron Yancey, 18, was the only teenager at Mayor Richard Irvin’s media briefing Tuesday, which means he was the first to learn about a new, free college opportunity for Aurora students.
“I’m looking forward to learning more and sharing this information with my friends,” said Yancey, a Class of 2019 graduate of East Aurora High School. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do after high school, but I didn’t want to be stagnant so I immediately signed up for a trade program. The opportunity at Loyola is very intriguing to me.”
Irvin was joined by Ward 7 Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns and representatives from Loyola University to announce a new collaboration between the city of Aurora and the Chicago-based university.
“This new partnership can help change the narrative of Aurora youth,” Irvin said. “We have strong connections with our local colleges and universities. Now, we can add Arrupe College of Loyola University to our list of post-secondary education partners that will offer our students a quality education.”
Arrupe College is a two-year degree program at Loyola University Chicago, offering a rigorous education to a diverse population, many being the first in their families to attend college who have the drive and desire to transfer to a four-year university.
About 88.5% of the college’s graduates have successfully enrolled in a bachelor’s program, and 100% receive institution-based financial aid.
“We are committed to providing an education that is achievable, accessible and affordable,” said Director of Admissions Isabel Reyes, who attended the media briefing on behalf of the university. “The leadership of Loyola University Chicago is looking forward to welcoming Aurora students into the Loyola family.”
Celebrating the fifth year anniversary of Arrupe College, Loyola University held a fundraising dinner on Monday evening in Chicago, which was attended by more than 700 supporters, including Irvin, Hart-Burns and personalities such as Emmy Award-winning chef, cookbook author, restaurateur and co-founder of Eataly Chicago, Lidia Bastianich, and politician, author and president of Save the Children Action Network, Mark Kennedy Shriver — both of whom serve on the board of directors of Arrupe College.
“The levels and types of support Arrupe College receives is very encouraging,” said Hart-Burns who was presented the idea of the partnership by Arrupe board member and local businessman Bill Owens. “What’s most encouraging, however, are the stories of students whose lives have been changed and whose futures are brighter because of their experience at Arrupe. Our Aurora youth can benefit and certainly deserve an opportunity like this.”
The partnership, which is being branded as the Arrupe Aurora Alliance, will focus on recent graduates from Aurora high schools of the classes of 2019, 2018 and 2017 who can begin classes in January 2020 and current high school seniors who can begin classes in August 2020.
Prospective students must register to attend a mandatory Open House at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. Representatives from Loyola University will provide an overview of the college and assist students with completing the application onsite.
Students can register for the Open House at www.aurora-il.org/
“Education has been a top priority of my administration,” said Mayor Irvin who also lauded the City’s partnership with Waubonsee Community College last school year to launch a program to increase the retention and graduation rates for minority males. “When government and colleges work together, we can have a direct impact on the campus, the community, the future workforce and, most importantly, the lives of our youth.”
- FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: Jarron Yancey (lleft), 18, of Aurora speaks about college enrollment with Arrupe College of Loyola University admissions director Isabel Reyes (right) and board member Bill Owens at Aurora City Hall. The city’s new partnership with Loyola University provides Aurora students an opportunity to enroll for spring semester.
SOURCE: city of Aurora news release