Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.84
Liaison Kalyna Procyk
Submission Date June 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Muhlenberg College
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.37 / 4.00 Greg Mitton
Director of Financial Aid
Admissions
"---" 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:

Muhlenberg does have policies in place to make tuition affordable for traditional low-income students. Although we do not have policies specifically geared towards low-income students, our financial aid policy is set up in such a way that tuition is affordable for everyone. We also try not to “gap” our students, meaning we create financial aid packages that meet students’ full financial needs. Additionally, we also do not include the parents’ loan as part of a student’s financial aid package. Even though these are not official policies, we do take these actions.


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

We have a program titled “Emerging Leaders”, where the details were mentioned earlier in PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups. To be an Emerging Leader, a student has to fit a certain number/degree of criteria, one of them being having a low-income background. Yet, a student does not necessarily have to come from a low-income background to be a member of the group, but that factor is taken heavily into consideration.


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

A program is in place involving 25 or more students from low-income backgrounds. These students were given a guide for success at college, as well as follow ups to any questions they may have. A complete list of the resources available to them here at Muhlenberg was also given to allow a full view of their opportunities here at the college.
Programs to guide parents for low-income students through the higher education
A program is in place involving 25 or more students from low-income backgrounds. These students were given a guide for success at college, as well as follow ups to any questions they may have. A complete list of the resources available to them here at Muhlenberg was also given to allow a full view of their opportunities here at the college.
Programs to guide parents for low-income students through the higher education
3 days before regular student orientation a special orientation is set up specific for low-income background students. These students are encouraged to come with their parents for a pre-orientation that is voluntary to receive a private guide to the resources available to them at the college. Parents also receive brochures to let them know the opportunities available for them and their kids at the college. If we’re invited to be a guest speaker or hold a workshop by a low-income school, we’ll do it.
Muhlenberg College works with community-based organizations that tend to serve low-income and/or first-generation students (some overlap between low-income and students of color). If these organizations ask a Muhlenberg employee to give a talk about college access (what does it mean to be in college, how to get college-ready, etc.), Muhlenberg is happy to participate. Muhlenberg has informal partnerships with programs in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Through these partnerships Muhlenberg employees are asked to speak at events hosted by the organizations and, in return, the organizations often bring their students to visit Muhlenberg which creates application and enrollment opportunities.


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

Though we do not have scholarships specifically for low-income students, our scholarship awards are merit-based and apply to all students regardless of their income background. So yes, low-income students would be eligible for our scholarships.


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

Part of our recruitment policy is that we got to high schools that consist of students who come from low-income.


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

Muhlenberg offers need-based financial aid to non-traditional students.
The Wescoe School of Continuing Education's sole purpose is to support non-traditional students. https://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/wescoe/aboutus/ We offer a one-stop shop for services (advising, registration, billing, etc.), provide evening and Saturday office hours, offer flexible course scheduling (evening and weekend courses), accelerated degree programs, rolling admissions (new student orientation offered fall, spring and summer during evening hours). Recruiting and outreach for our programs is offered at local community colleges, local Careerlink, veterans groups, as well as regional job and education fairs. Wescoe faculty receive initial and ongoing development regarding teaching and supporting (best practices) adult learners.
Wescoe students pay a per course, reduced tuition rate (comparable to other continuing education units in the region) https://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/wescoe/programcourseofferings/tuition.html . As they are not residential students, we do not require Wescoe students to pay a student activity fee (they pay only if they plan to use the facilities, e.g. Lifesports Center).
While institutional scholarships are limited (as Wescoe students already receive a lower tuition rate), there is a scholarship for students transferring from our local community college. All other scholarships are need based (Community Service, Sam Laposata and Constance Miller) and specifically for Wescoe students. Muhlenberg is also a "Yellow Ribbon" school for military veterans. Additionally, Wescoe provides "book vouchers" for students who receive Fin. Aid, military benefits or government funding for school (so that students may obtain their books by the first day of class, rather than awaiting military or govt. funding to arrive).
Wescoe will accept transfer work (and has articulation agreements and 2+2 arrangements) with our two local community colleges, up to 1/2 (16 course units) of their degree. Wescoe accepts CLEP, AP and ACE (including military) recommended credit for transfer.


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:

There is no current program like this, but it could be a future possibility.


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

Muhlenberg offers need-based financial aid to non-traditional students. See above.


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):
15.80

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
83

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):
92

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):
46

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:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The Wescoe School of Continuing Education has been serving adult learners for over 100 years, it provides a "one-stop-shop" experience for non-traditional student learners. Wescoe offers cohort based, accelerated degree completion programs in Business Administration (concentrations available in Supply Chain Management, Human Resources Leadership & Healthcare Management) and Information Systems. Evening and weekend courses are scheduled for our adult students pursuing traditional liberal arts majors.
The Wescoe School is the embodiment of Muhlenberg’s commitment to lifelong learning. Students of all backgrounds may come to the Wescoe School to pursue a degree or certificate, for personal enrichment, or to enhance their professional mobility. A schedule of evening and weekend classes, offered at significantly reduced tuition, makes access to Muhlenberg’s Wescoe School possible for adults who must balance time and financial commitments among work, family, and education.
Our goal is to provide students an excellent undergraduate preparation for socially useful and self-fulfilling careers. The College serves traditional students though its regular day programs and non-traditional students through the Wescoe School. In the daily educational enterprise, the College cherishes and strives to maintain an academic environment in which the potential of all its students may be realized, within an informal campus environment. The Muhlenberg experience is characterized by limited enrollment, small classes, close student-faculty relationships, and a high degree of student responsibility in academic and social affairs.
To allow access to undergraduate classes and, at the same time, uphold Muhlenberg’s high academic standards, the Wescoe School makes a distinction between enrollment in courses and matriculation into an undergraduate degree or certificate program. Students who have taken four Muhlenberg College courses and demonstrated the ability to succeed in an academically rigorous environment, or students who are transferring to Muhlenberg with a grade point average of 3.00 or above, are invited to matriculate and to work towards a Muhlenberg College bachelor’s degree or certificate.
To determine the data on low-income students, we calculated students who received Pell Grants as coming from low-income backgrounds. This data can be found in the attached document titled “PA 8 Graduation Rates of Pell Grant Students”.
To calculate the percentage of students entering that are low-income, we took the number of students that received Pell Grants in the 2017-2018 school year and divided by the 2021 freshmen class. (89/564)

The information is correct to the best of the knowledge of:
Kim Myerson, Financial Aid Coordinator, kimmyerson@muhlenberg.edu
Jane Hudak, Dean of Wescoe School of Continuing Education, janehudak@muhlenberg.edu
Greg Mitton, Director of Financial Aid, Associate Dean of Admission, gregmitton@muhlenberg.edu
Nicole Hammel, Director of Institutional Research, nicolehammel@muhlenberg.edu
Cindy Santiago, Senior Associate Director of Admissions and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment, cynthiaamaya-santiago@muhlenberg.edu

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.