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Cleveland, East Cleveland grads get free tuition at CWRU; soon, room and board too

An aerial view of Case Western Reserve University's campus.
Roger Mastroianni
Case Western Reserve University
An aerial view of Case Western Reserve University's campus.

Case Western Reserve University on Wednesday announced it will begin covering the full cost of attendance for all students who graduate from Cleveland Metropolitan School District and East Cleveland City School District in the near future.

Students who attend those school districts for the final two years before graduation will be eligible for free tuition, room and board, books and more, through the Cleveland Scholars Program, the private university said in a news release. The program is also available to graduates of charter schools that partner with Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The expanded program will begin with CWRU's fall 2024 freshman class.

The university previously offered full tuition to Cleveland and East Cleveland students through the program but did not provide the additional aid for room and board and other costs. The program also includes a guaranteed "mentored, paid research or internship experience on campus" for students, the news release reads.

The expansion of Case Western Reserve’s program shows the school’s commitment to the community, said university President Eric W. Kaler.

“Cost will not keep these terrific students from attending Case Western Reserve,” Kaler said of the program, which also eliminates student loans. “We are committed to our community, and committed to these promising students. We want them to have every opportunity to thrive on our campus.”

CMSD CEO Warren Morgan similarly expressed excitement about the expansion to the program.

"The decision represents an extraordinary act of generosity that will make a difference in the lives of deserving CMSD students,” said CMSD CEO Warren Morgan. “The fact that some of our most talented graduates will now have extra incentive to continue their education at one of America’s leading universities will pay immediate dividends to CWRU and all of Northeast Ohio.”

Case Western Reserve joins many other public colleges and universities in Ohio that offer free tuition to Cleveland public school students through the Say Yes Cleveland scholarship program. A spokesperson said the university has 56 students enrolled this academic year under the Cleveland Scholars Program.

Updated: September 13, 2023 at 7:05 PM EDT
This story has been updated, including a clarification to the headline that the move by Case Western will also include free room and board.
Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.