Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.76
Liaison Jamie Greiner
Submission Date March 22, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mount Union
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 4.00 Jamie Greiner
Sustainability and Campus Outreach Manager
Nature Center
"---" 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?:

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

Mount Union believes that no student should fail to apply for admission to the University purely for financial reasons. 98% of our students receive financial aid. $33 million was awarded last year in the form of institutional grants or scholarships and the average financial aid award is $27,031. Mount Union also strives to keep our tuition low. Tuition is 11% below the average cost of tuition when compared to similar private institutions in Ohio.

In Fall 2020 Mount Union also implemented the Mount Union Pell Opportunity Grant where we will meet the cost of tuition and technology fees with grants/scholarships, Federal Loans, and Work Study for eligible incoming full-time first-year undergraduate students. Students must file a FAFSA and be Pell eligible, have a parent income of $55,000 or less (student income if independent), and 2.8 cumulative high school GPA or higher. This applies to both in-state and out-of-state students. (Information from Lindajean Western)

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

Part of the Academic Affairs division, the Center for Student Success is focused on assisting students throughout their time at Mount Union to develop skills and behaviors consistent with success in and out of the classroom. All of these programs and services are offered to both traditional and non-traditional students. While we do not target non-traditional or low-income students, they often access services through programs in the Center for Student success, such as some from Academic Support.

While the Office of Academic Support does not facilitate programming designed specifically for students from low-income backgrounds, the Raiders Rise program for conditionally admitted students is focused on serving the characteristics and demographics of this diverse student population that includes student athletes, first-generation students, and students from families of many socio-economic statuses.

The Raiders Rise program provides additional support and access to campus resources for conditionally admitted students as they acclimate to life as successful University students. In weekly small-group meetings led by upperclassmen peer mentors, these students learn together how to manage time and use campus resources such as the writing center, tutoring program and professors’ office hours as they normalize help-seeking behaviors needed for higher achievement in college courses.

Career Development also facilitates career and job search processes for non-traditional students and alumni. We participate in job fairs (HireOhio) just for seasoned alumni.

Any and all of the Career Development services offered to traditional undergraduate students are also offered for non-traditional students. We remain or explore with them any restrictions, issues or concerns that might affect our services and are more than willing to do email, telephone, or virtual correspondence with them. (Information from Jessica Cunion).

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

With funds from the Bremer Foundation, Mount Union began the Great Expectations Program in 1995. This program involves identifying a cohort of middle school students from Youngstown OH to participate in Early Intervention Programming continuing to the end of their high school career. The focus is to prepare students from low income backgrounds for higher education. Programming, which continues through the generous support of the Marion G. Resch Foundation, includes a summer enrichment camp, regular visits with the students in the hs setting, and weekend sessions focusing on academic enrichment, cultural experiences, critical thinking, personal development, ACT prep, career exploration, college preparation and community service.

Information from website: http://www.mountunion.edu/what-we-do

What do participants do and learn in the Great Expectations Program?

Programming for our Summer Enrichment Camp and weekend sessions typically connect with at least one of the following components:
-Academic Enrichment
-Critical Thinking
-Personal Development
-Career Exploration
-College Preparation
-Community Involvement

Students in the program will:
-Tour a variety of colleges and universities
-Receive assistance with ACT and SAT preparation
-Tutorial Assistance
-Participate in a variety of career and college related shadowing experiences
-Develop and participate in service learning projects
-Attend an annual week-long residential education enrichment experience
-Receive weekly counseling on education and personal development
-Participate in a variety of workshops pertaining to wellness, goal-setting, self-assessment, and study skills
And So Much More!

-Develop increased self-confidence and coping skills.
-Become role models for Wilson High School and the Youngstown community.
-Become responsible decision-makers and thinkers.
-Become aware of the advantages that higher education can provide.
-Become aware of college scholarship opportunities.

The Dowling Mentor Program
The program is nearly 30 years old and was founded in honor of Robert Dowling who was a teacher in Alliance. Prior to 2016, the focus was on mentoring students in grades 7-12 at Alliance High School. The students were chosen by the principal and guidance counselors and spent one on one time with a Mount Union student and participated in monthly group outings. In 2016 the program was revised to focus on working with teens in foster care in the community. Every other Thursday (4:30-6:30pm) teens in foster care join UMU students for dinner, learning, and fun on campus. On the off Thursday's UMU students work with teens at the YMCA from 5-7pm. They help mentor through sports and the six pillars of Character Counts Program. (Information from Abby Schroeder)

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

We have recently partnered with Alliance City School District and are in the fourth year of the Investment Alliance scholarship program. Beginning in May 2014, the graduating class of Alliance High School’s top fifteen ranked students are offered full tuition to Mount Union. This community collaboration is intended to prevent brain drain and offer our brightest local students the opportunity to attend Mount Union without concern about financial constraint.

We also offer the Manzilla Multicultural Award which supports our diversity and access initiatives. Students are awarded $2,000 per year based on their need and academic credentials. (Information from Lindajean Western).

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

Our admission efforts include recruiting from designated urban high school settings serving low-income communities so we can work to increase access and diversity. We visit high schools in urban centers as standard practice within our admission travel season. Mount Union participates in a variety of college access fairs and events that are specifically designed to increase college attendance opportunities among low income and underrepresented students. We allocate a specific portion of our budget to fund groups for college-exposure visits. Mount Union has engaged with College Greenlight, the leading nationwide online platform connecting community-based organizations (CBOs), high schools, colleges and scholarship providers. They assist us in reaching high achieving first-generation, low-income, and traditionally underrepresented students, helping these students overcome the challenges of college access, undermatching, and affordability. Our admissions staff is the most diverse team on campus by design, in order to authentically reach prospective students wherever they are and ensure that are supported by people they identify with and are comfortable communicating with. (Information from Lindajean Western).

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

In addition to need-based financial aid, there are programs in place to assist students with financial obstacles and help to promote academic success. Students can obtain book loans to aid with the purchase of textbooks and other class materials. On an individual basis, students also have the potential to obtain emergency personal loans to help deal with crises and unexpected needs in their lives. As with book loans, emergency loans are repayable or can be added to student account.

A President’s Rescue fund was also established to help assist students in graduating. Junior and Seniors who are experiencing a financial hardship are considered for President’s Rescue funds that will assist students in paying their balance. (Information from Lindajean Western)

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

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

Institutional scholarships for part time students are limited to the Mount Union dollars provided through the Yellow Ribbon Program to veterans or veteran dependents.

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:


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

At the University of Mount Union, we endeavor to work with students individually to help address challenges and needs. Due to the lack of “critical mass” of non-traditional students, we do not have specific offices or programs designated to serve that population. However, such individual needs and provisions are handled through the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Admissions. The current strategic plan - Compass 2021 - has a objective of "Providing programs and support services for our evolving student body (aka non-traditional students). The University will respond to meet the needs of transfer students, commuter students, adults who need a flexible, part-time path to attaining a graduate degree or a career-relevant certification, and international students." (Information from Lindajean Western).

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

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

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

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):

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):

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):

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Information from Lindajean Western and Jesse Cunion

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.