Partnership makes ULV education attainable

Deborah Lee
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne recently entered into an agreement to guarantee admission and financial aid for qualified high school seniors from several local school districts.

The Partnership for Access to College Education currently includes 12 school districts: Alhambra, Bonita, Chaffey Joint Union, Covina, Duarte, Fontana, Monrovia, Montebello, Pomona, Upland, West Covina and Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, with two additional high schools: Bishop Conaty – Our Lady of Loretto High School and San Diego College Bound.

“The idea that small private universities may be out of reach for some students is very prevalent,” said Todd Eckel, La Verne’s interim dean of admissions. “We wanted to break down that myth and perception.”

Qualified students from the partner districts will have their application fees waived and are guaranteed at least $10,000 per year in financial aid, said Rod Leveque, director of public relations.

To qualify students must meet the grade point average and test score requirements, which change depending on the year.

Application requirements include a letter of recommendation, test scores, transcripts and a personal statement.

PACE was signed on Jan. 19, garnering positive support from the participating districts.

“The educational partnership sends a clear message that college is a viable option for our school district students and will enhance student achievement to cultivate the college going culture we have in our community,” said Margaret Llamas, coordinator of College and Career Pathways at the West Covina Unified School District.

About 75 percent of the University’s students come directly from high school and live within a 50-mile radius of the main campus. This makes the partnership with the districts mutually beneficial, say school and University official.

Lawrence Potter, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in an email statement that the agreement is an essential part of the University’s core value of lifelong learning.

“These partnerships help to build collaborations, close educational achievement, equity and economic gaps; provide access to private higher education opportunities for diverse and first-generation student populations; and offer financial support to needy families,” Potter said via email.

“Our school district has an unwavering commitment to ensuring that every college student has an opportunity to go to college,” Nancy Kelly, superintendent of the Upland Unified School District, said.

“We’re very excited to be a part of the University of La Verne’s ground breaking partnership.”

PACE initially began with the Chaffey Joint Union School District as a test run to see how successful the program would be during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Admission applications for the 2017-2018 school year are now open.

Deborah Lee can be reached at

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