Anonymous donor endows scholarships for residents from Cincinnati area
More students from southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky will have the opportunity to attend Marian University on scholarship, thanks to an anonymous donor’s $1 million gift.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this fall about a four-year, full-tuition scholarship that is earmarked for a current high school senior from the Cincinnati area. To be eligible for that scholarship, students must apply and be accepted by December 1, 2014. Finalists for the scholarship will be required to visit campus on either January 17 or January 31, 2015, for a full-day of interviews. The scholarship recipient is expected to be announced in February 2015.
Although it is located in Indianapolis, Marian University has deep roots in southwest Ohio. The university was founded as a Teacher’s College by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana, located approximately 40 miles from Cincinnati. For decades, the Sisters taught in Cincinnati’s parochial schools, which served as a pipeline to the Franciscan, liberal arts university which now serves more than 2,700 students. But as the Sisters’ numbers dwindled, so too did the number of students making the 120-mile trip up I-74 to attend Marian University.
The university hopes to reverse that trend, and has revitalized its recruitment efforts in the region over the past year. The increased visibility in the market – which includes online advertising, billboard advertising, and the hiring of a locally based recruiter – has caught the attention of alumni who still live in the area, and prompted the $1 million donation from the anonymous donor.
“It’s Marian University’s mission to be a nationally renowned Catholic university that produces leaders for service to the world,” Alan Leighton, an alumnus and member of the university’s Board of Trustees, said. “To accomplish that mission, we have to expand our recruitment efforts regionally and then nationally. Given Cincinnati’s proximity to Indianapolis, its outstanding parochial schools, and Marian’s large alumni base in the area, it makes perfect sense for the university to look first to Cincinnati as it begins expanding its recruiting base.”
The efforts have paid early dividends. A dozen students from southwest Ohio enrolled at Marian University in Fall 2014, which was more than in the previous three years combined. The university has nearly 300 Cincinnati-area high school seniors on its prospect list for Fall 2015, an increase of nearly 500% over the previous period last year. More importantly, applications from the area have more than doubled over this time last year, and the number of accepted students has tripled.
Marian University has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade, and was recognized last month by The Chronicle of Higher Education as the nation’s 16th fastest growing private college from 2002-2012. The university ranks #25 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Colleges in the Midwest Region, and Money magazine ranks Marian University as the best college in Indiana “For Your Money”.