Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.34
Liaison Mary Whitney
Submission Date Nov. 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Chatham University
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.85 / 4.00 Robert Zhang
Director of Institutional Research
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

To minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students, Chatham offers need-based grants that are awarded to students based on financial need and academic strength. Academic strength is determined based on GPA, SAT/ACT results and test-optional scores. Students with high financial need and high GPA and SAT/ACT scores will receive the highest grant awards from institutional funds. As a result, we are using need as a factor to determine if students can be awarded additional financial aid from Chatham, which does not have to be repaid. We are, therefore, lowering their costs that they may have to otherwise borrow in student loan funds.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

Chatham University is also awarded Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG) funds on an annual basis from the federal government. Through the availability of these funds we are identifying the neediest students in our student body, and awarding them based on the date in which their FAFSA was received and their EFC. SEOG funds are allocated to low-income students, on a first-come, first-served basis. Receipt of the FAFSA and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) are used to determine which students are awarded this particular grant. These funds may only be awarded to students who are Pell eligible. Information on the SEOG and Chatham Grant are available at: http://www.chatham.edu/admissions/aid/undergraduate/types.cfm


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

As part of its on-going effort to recruit students from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds, the Office of Admission routinely visits high schools in Allegheny County to meet with high school students to discuss college entrance requirements; some of the schools have student populations where over 50% participate in free or reduced-lunch programs. The Office of Admission has designated counselors who are assigned to working with military students and Pittsburgh Promise students, some of whom are low-income, to help guide them through the application process.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Students with high financial need and high GPA and SAT/ACT scores will receive the highest grant awards from institutional funds. As a result, we are using need as a factor to determine if students can be awarded additional financial aid from Chatham, which does not have to be repaid. We are, therefore, lowering their costs that they may have to otherwise borrow in student loan funds.

Chatham University is also awarded Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG) funds on an annual basis from the federal government. Through the availability of these funds we are identifying the neediest students in our student body, and awarding them based on the date in which their FAFSA was received and their EFC.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Some specific initiatives that demonstrate Chatham’s dedication to providing access for low-income students are highlighted below. For five years, an admission counselor has been on the planning committee of a Pittsburgh-colleges initiative, College Success 101, which annually provides public school students in the region with information about financial aid and scholarships and other aspects of college life. Additionally, Chatham works with alumnae involved with two community based organizations (YWCA and SHINE) that serve young women in low-income areas of Pittsburgh by providing them with information about higher education opportunities. Chatham has established a partnership with the Youth and Arts sector of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a local organization that serves students in the Pittsburgh public school region, many of whom are low-income students; Chatham provides an art scholarship and information about the college search process. Additionally, Chatham has established a partnership with a local Girl Scout troop that targets girls living in specific low-income housing projects in Western PA; faculty, staff and students are engaged with the troop to bring a host of services to the girls in that particular troop. Each year, the Office of Admission charters a bus to bring low-income high school students from New York City, Philadelphia and Harrisburg to participate in our annual scholarship event. Without transportation to campus, overnight housing and food, many of these young women would not be able to visit our campus to engage with professors and experience campus life prior to making their college selection.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Eligible Pittsburgh Public School students have the opportunity to receive a scholarship from The Pittsburgh Promise that would pay up to $10,000 each year for up to four years to help with expenses related to tuition. To maintain eligibility, students must have a minimum 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) to continue to receive yearly Promise funds.

The university also allows the application fee ($35.00) to be waived based on financial need.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

Chatham participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans. The Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the program provides matching funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs as a supplement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers tuition and fees not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition & fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning. The Yellow Ribbon Program will match tuition and fees in excess of the portion funded by the GI Bill. Chatham matches an unlimited amount.


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Chatham has a partnership with Carriage House Children's Center, Inc, a local daycare, located 0.5 miles from the center of Chatham University in an adjacent neighborhood. The Carriage House Children's Center, Inc. give preferential acceptance to children from Chatham students.
http://www.carriagehouse.org/index.htm

Chatham also offers Life Solutions Benefits to students and employees who are looking for childcare, which gives free referrals to childcare facilities in the Pittsburgh area. Chatham employees and students seeking and using childcare are able to use flexible savings accounts that allow the money used towards childcare to count towards pretax benefits.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

Chatham University recognizes that life experiences may provide a knowledge base equivalent to college-level learning outcomes. As such, degree-seeking Gateway students have an opportunity to be awarded academic credit for post-secondary knowledge gained prior to matriculating at Chatham University. Learning acquired from employment, job training, volunteer and civic duties, military service and travel are just some examples to contemplate when considering experiential learning credit. Accordingly, Gateway students can potentially earn a maximum of 30 credits towards their educational goals and the explicit requirements of their program by developing a prior learning portfolio.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
38.40

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
63.20

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
67

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
16

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data from Common Data Set, 2017-2018
Data from Factbook: Fall 2017 Fulltime Degree Seeking Freshman

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.