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Guest column by Pres. Towey: Expenses to be the key in the year ahead

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In a recent speech, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged colleges and universities to "think more creatively — and with much greater urgency — about how to contain the spiraling costs of college and reduce the burden of student debt on our nation's students."

Keeping academic standards high and the costs to students low will be the defining challenge in higher education in 2012.

If Duncan wants to see a model to accomplish these dual objectives, he should check out Ave Maria University.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this year the average cost of tuition and fees at private colleges in America is $28,500, and yet Ave Maria charges just a little more than $20,000.

Because our mission urges us to keep the cost of attending college within the reach of as many families as possible, more than half of this cost at Ave Maria is covered by scholarships, thanks to the generosity of our founder, Tom Monaghan, and our many donors.

This means that the average student on our campus is paying less than $10,000 in tuition and fees annually. Students from Florida are paying even less because of state-supported scholarships (Bright Future and Florida Resident Access Grant). In fact, Florida residents attending Ave Maria have an out-of-pocket tuition cost comparable to the sticker price of the state's huge public universities.

That is good news for parents and their high school seniors who want a quality education without incurring a mountain of debt. With many private, liberal arts colleges now charging well over $40,000 per year in tuition, and with scholarship aid restricted to the privileged few (star students or athletes, for example), it is no wonder that there is widespread resentment in America over rising college costs.

So how does Ave Maria University keep its academic standards high and its costs low?

First, we attracted a first-class faculty without the trappings of tenure. Our professors hold degrees from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell and other prestigious institutions and could teach, research and get tenure anywhere. They chose Ave Maria because we value their scholarship and seek to provide the right environment for it.

Second, we have streamlined administration and kept the student-to-employee ratio high. Too many colleges and universities have bloated bureaucracies.

Third, we do not go overboard on athletics. A third of our students compete in 17 sports, guided by just a handful of full-time coaches. That model works for students and is affordable.

Last month the higher-education consulting group Hardwick Day released results from a survey conducted with 2,700 college graduates. The group asked the graduates how satisfied they were with their undergraduate experiences. Which colleges fared best? Private liberal arts colleges like Ave Maria. This is because students who learn how to think critically and write competently turn into graduates who can excel in the world.

That is good news, but it will be short-lived if their alma maters continue to price themselves out of reach.



NRO Editor-at-large interviewed

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"The gals at Ave Maria in Florida are just spectacular...", says Kathryn Jean Lopez, keynote speaker at the genuine.feminine conference on campus last March.



Start-Ups Drive Florida Job Creation, Report by AMU Professor Finds

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Assistant Professor of Economics, Dr. Joseph Burke, recently had an article published on Start-Up Companies as Florida’s Top Job Creators



A Presidential Reunion

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AMU President H. J. Towey Visits with President Bush in Texas

November 18, 2011 – Ave Maria University President H. James Towey poses for a picture with his friend and former employer, United States President George W. Bush, moments before the former President addressed a faith-based gathering in Dallas, Texas.  America’s 43rd president and Towey visited at the Bush’s Dallas home and later traveled together to the speech – although, as President Towey observed, “his motorcade is smaller and it stops at red lights.”  President Towey was grateful for the opportunity to share with the President all of the good news coming from Ave Maria.  “It was great to be with President Bush and it was just like old times, except that now he is a little more laid back and there isn’t the constant pressure.  He looked great and was getting ready to go on a family trip to Africa, and his speech to the folks supporting a local pregnancy center that helps moms choose life, was fascinating, and at times, hilarious.  He definitely is comfortable in his role away from the spotlight.”  At their meeting, President Bush told Towey that he would meet with a group of Ave Maria University supporters when he comes to Naples on February 3, 2012. 



Thomas S. Monaghan Honored for Catholic Leadership

Monday, December 5, 2011

Catholic Leadership Institute and over 600 individuals from around the country gathered to honor Sr. Pauline McShain, SHCJ, Thomas Monaghan, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM, Cap. and Terry Polakovic on Friday, November 11 at the 2011 Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership in Philadelphia, PA.  



Immokalee Parish benefits from SGA Breakfast with St. Nick!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Families enjoyed the annual Ave Maria University Breakfast with St. Nick Sunday morning, sponsored by the AMU student government and the Knights of Columbus. 



Marine Corp Ball Celebrated with Cake and Gyrene Burgers

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chancellor Monaghan honored at the Annual Marine Corp Birthday Ball. Gyrene Burgers served for the first time.  Gyrene Burger is a venture created by Chancellor Tom Monaghan to benefit scholarships for students of AMU.



2011 Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) will present the 2011 Awards for Outstanding Catholic Leadership to four national Catholic leaders at a reception and dinner to be held Friday, November 11 at the Drexelbrook, in Philadelphia, PA."

CLICK HERE to read article!!!



Ave Maria to offer 13 new programs

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ave Maria University plans to nearly double its program offerings next year in an effort to attract more students and continue expansion of the still-young school.


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