College offers new opportunity, second chance to students

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CHICAGO-- If you missed getting accepted in the college of your choice because your grades and scores were not the best, there is still hope. Arrupe College opened this past fall and is looking for students like you. The school is names after Father Pedro Arrupe, a Jesuit priest born in Spain in 1907, who made it his life’s work to educate men and women to serve others.

Asya Meadows: “My grades we like – ok and I feel that this was like a second chance for me to prove myself to take my self seriously – it was the real world.”

If you were like this students and your high school grades were not the best, then pay attention. I may have just the place to get you motivated and back onto track to complete your higher education. Arrupe College at Loyola University.

“This is transforming the mindset – a mindset that says, Well I’m not a good student – I’m not college material – I could never go to Loyola, are you kidding? Who am I kidding? Now, they are talking about Loyola and beyond.”

Fr. Steven Katsouros is the Dean and Executive Director at Arrupe. His team is searching Chicago high schools for students who need assistance - like financial help, and tutoring support to compete with regular college kids.

Isaac Mckeever, freshman: “So, when I heard about Arrupe through my college counselor – it was a 2-year and I shied away from it a little but after coming through the orientation and hearing everything they offered, I started to like it. And on my first day, that’s when I fell in love with it.”

The City Colleges of Chicago offers a 2-year program and draws from same student pool as Arrupr. But Arrupe prides itself in being different in one respect – size.

Father Katsourous: “Size matters. So we have an enrollment of 151. We know all these students. I just saw a student – I know that his birthday is tomorrow. I’ve already said happy early birthday.”

Asya Meadows: “They are interested, to keep you engaged. They care about you – they know your name.

“Arrupe is not difficult to sell, really ha ha ha ha. It is not difficult to sell.”

Isabel Reyes is the Assistant Director of admissions. She says Arrupe’s mission is to find and graduate students who fell just below the line but who will do well with a little encouragement.

Reyes: “Writing center, math tutoring center, we have a lot of these resources here available for students and we really want them to make good use of them.”

Eyleen Gramajo: “what I like best is the support we get, if I have any questions I can go ask them.”

Osmar Cruz: “More than I ever expected – there are so many resources – and it’s like everything they said – achievable, accessible, affordable.”

Affordable beyond belief -- Arrupe students apply for student aid, and each is expected to get federal and state grants, bringing the total net cost of attendance to less than $1,000 per year.

Andrea Vallejo: “Awesome… they have helped me find a job and there’s tutoring – there’s like a lot of resources that – everybody is provided with and I’m very grateful for it all.

“We really want to be involved with – in the spirit of Pope Francis – accompanying these students through their first experience of higher Ed.”

Fr. Katsourous says many of the incoming freshmen don’t even know just how smart they are – but they’ll soon find out.

When you complete the Arrupe program, you’ll receive an associate’s degree in one of three concentrations: Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, or Business. You can then transfer all of those credits to more than 100 Illinois institutions, allowing you to complete college in 4-years - earning your bachelor’s degree —at a fraction of the cost.