The Bellarmine Blog

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Students may now attend Bellarmine University for state school costs


If college costs were equal, where would you go?

Bellarmine University is rolling out Public Price Promise, a unique merit scholarship that allows student from across the U.S. to have a private education, for state school costs.

Starting fall 2021, Bellarmine will match the direct cost of qualifying students’ state flagship university – that’s often a state’s largest, oldest public university. For example, for students in Kentucky, Bellarmine will match University of Kentucky’s tuition, fees, room and board. The Public Price Promise typically reduces the cost of attending Bellarmine by as much as half. 

The scholarship is like few others in the country. It allows students to receive Bellarmine’s distinctive private, liberal arts education within a small, close-knit community for the same price as a large state school.

“Our mission is to make our top-ranked education accessible to everyone, no matter where they’re from or their financial situation,” said Dr. Michael Marshall, Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communication at Bellarmine. “We don’t want cost to inhibit students who may prefer Bellarmine’s brand of academic excellence and graduate success in a relationship-rich environment.”

The scholarship will be particularly attractive for students who’d prefer a smaller campus but worry about the price of a private school.

To qualify, students must enroll as a traditional first-year college student, hold a 3.6 unweighted high school GPA and reside on campus all four years.

“When I first saw how much Bellarmine was going to cost I didn’t even think it was worth applying, but once I got accepted I got scholarship money and it actually made it really affordable... It ended up costing about the same price as if I went to University of Kentucky, so it was an easy decision in my mind” said Annika Yeske, a senior majoring in art and psychology.

With costs being equal, there are numerous reasons to choose Bellarmine over a large, state school.

Close Connections

Bellarmine’s incoming classes average about 600 students and the majority live on campus in residence halls. There are more than 70 student groups on campus and most students belong to at least one of them. With Bellarmine’s many campus traditions, like Week of Welcome, students gather often and form lasting friendships. It’s easier to get lost in the crowd at larger universities.

“Being able to walk through campus and pretty much know everyone you walk by is really cool,” said Daria Ochenkowski, a recent education graduate. “That’s something you don’t get in a lot of places. You can have that connection anywhere you go on campus. The relationships you build with professors are huge as well.”

The average size of classes is 12 students for every professor, so those close connections extend to the classroom. Bellarmine doesn’t have the equivalent of giant lecture hall courses you find at large universities. Professors know students by name, are available for extra help and become career-shaping mentors. 

“I loved my community at Bellarmine,” Daria said. “I still use my connections there. I’ll call my professor and say, I’ve encountered this challenge, or what do you think about this situation? They’re still helpful to me, even though I graduated in December.”  

Everything you need to succeed

Bellarmine offers specialized wraparound student services like tutoring, writing center coaches and learning communities. Graduates also get a dedicated career success advocate for six months after graduation. 

With so many students, large state schools can’t match that kind of personal attention, and that shows in student outcomes. Bellarmine graduation and job placement rates are far higher. After graduation, 99 percent of Bellarmine grads are working within their field or continuing their education.

Bellarmine graduates also have the highest earning potential of any Kentucky university 10 years after graduation and earn the highest mid-career salaries of any university in Kentucky.

“The opportunities that I found through Bellarmine were endless, which helped me develop what I found my path to be,” said CJ Corsiglia, a nursing major “I’m looking forward to starting work through the networks that I’ve made at Bellarmine, to give back to the school as well as to further my education and develop my career afterwards.”

ppp chart

About Bellarmine University

Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.