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Peace of Mind

Marty Maloney was among a special group of students at the University of Dayton’s winter commencement ceremony. He’s a first-generation college graduate.

“It meant a lot to my parents to see me walk across the stage,” said Maloney, whose father immigrated from Ireland and started a waste management company and whose mother works with vacation home rentals.

“And it ended up meaning a lot to me, too,” he said. “It seemed like I spent a lifetime in the library studying for my classes, but now that it’s over, it just flashed by.”

Maloney, an accounting major from the Chicago area, said he chose UD for its emphasis on community and faith — “I felt a real connection between what I valued and what the school’s about,” he said.

He also got peace of mind from the University’s innovative tuition guarantee — “That definitely did factor into my decision that I’d be able to save a bit more money,” he said.

The tuition plan, which went into effect in fall 2013, has helped students graduate in less time with less debt.

The plan ensures students know the full cost of a degree upfront. The University promises students’ financial aid will grow dollar-for-dollar to match any tuition increases — so what they pay their first year is what they’ll pay their last year.

Each accepted student receives a personalized financial aid letter detailing the full cost of tuition, as well as projected costs for housing, meals and other expenses for all four years. The University also eliminated all fees so students don’t face surprise expenses that too often can jeopardize their successful degree completion. Students also have access to a four-year book scholarship worth $4,000.

“The tuition guarantee is an important part of our commitment to access and affordability,” said Jason Reinoehl, vice president for strategic enrollment management. “It is also central to our efforts to enroll more students from underrepresented populations as part of the American Talent Initiative, an alliance of top colleges and universities across the country seeking to educate and graduate more students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.”

At the graduation ceremony this winter, UD President Eric F. Spina told the first-generation students like Maloney they “represent the American dream.”

“You will continue to open doors of opportunity — not just for yourselves, but for future generations of your family. We’re so proud of you and so proud of the family members who made your dream — and theirs — come true,” he said.

For his part, Maloney is set to begin as a bank examiner with a financial exchange based in Chicago. He landed the offer during his summer internship.

And the pride in his family? “My parents keep telling me I’m a college graduate, but they’re smarter than me,” he said with a laugh. “They expect a lot out of me now that I have a degree.”


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