Marian University’s Working Families Grant Program (WFG), one of the nation’s most comprehensive educational programs available to low-income single parents, recently had its $1 million grant renewed to continue providing participants with financial support for both college tuition and living expenses.
Initiated and funded by an anonymous donor and the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Marian’s sponsoring organization, WFG awards tuition and stipend grants to economically disadvantaged single parents with dependent children – parents who possess the desire and determination to achieve a four-year undergraduate degree. Since its inception in 2002, 199 students have graduated, with a retention rate of 89.5 percent and a graduation rate of 88.4 percent. The $1 million is the 19th grant the WFG has received.
Participants create new social and economic opportunities for their future through a “partnership” philosophy that embraces academic advising and support services, career assessment and development resources, community service/volunteerism experiences, counseling, financial aid assistance, freedom of spiritual exploration, life skills development, and mentoring.
The WFG students are enrolled in a variety of majors, including Administration of Justice, Art Therapy, Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Elementary-Middle Education, Nursing, Marketing, and Social Work. Each participant performs 40 hours of community service each year, with other requirements including maintaining good academic standing, making continued academic progress, and participating in meaningful volunteer activities.
Participants also can utilize Marian’s student support services through the Center for Academic Support and Excellence, including personal counseling, academic advising, social and career counseling, tutoring, mentoring, and advising. Participants also receive personalized financial and debt management counseling from Financial Aid, and Career Services assists with resume development, mock interviews and long-range career planning support.