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The University of Dayton, one of just three Catholic, Marianist universities in the country, offers an education and experience steeped in the Marian values of building community, lifting up all students, discovering one’s vocation and advancing social justice. On a recent visit to Dayton, Ohio and this friendly campus of 8,400 undergraduates, I discovered many compelling reasons to consider giving UD a look. Here are a few:

Emphasis on experiential learning

From UD’s Common Academic Program (similar to a core curriculum) to unique opportunities in different disciplines, UD is intentional about experiential learning. Engineering students are able to complete co-ops and apply their skills in humanitarian ways, School of Business Administration students manage the portfolio for UD’s $64 million endowment as part of the country’s largest student-led investment company, education majors gain double the number of observation/classroom hours as required for state licensure, and Sports Management majors intern with various Dayton sports teams – and these are only a few among many examples.

Commitment to building community

Ensuring that students feel a sense of belonging is key to the Marianist approach and is woven into many aspects of student life. For example, instead of drawing numbers in a housing lottery, returning students earn points for participation in campus activities, and more points will get you an earlier chance to choose from among UD’s most desirable housing options. Students say the point system is well publicized and easy to track via a campus app. Speaking of housing…

Student “neighborhoods”

UD owns blocks of houses adjacent to campus and rents them to upperclassmen. They are clean, furnished and well maintained, housing two to six students each. This keeps upperclassmen close and connected to the university while they live in a nearby “neighborhood.” Fully 80% of UD students live on campus, and it’s no wonder, given the desirable living options! In addition, UD’s campus cuisine is also consistently highly ranked by Niche, the Princeton review and the National Association of College and University Food Services).

Financial transparency

UD is proud of its commitment to affordability and financial transparency. Admission is need blind and merit scholarships are generous, with each student’s whole application considered for merit awards, not simply their grades and/or test scores. The total cost of a UD education is provided up front to every admitted student, with no hidden fees or tuition increases during their four years. If students attend a campus visit and fill out the FAFSA, they automatically receive a $500-per-semester textbook scholarship, renewed each year.  UD accepts AP and dual enrollment credits, giving students flexibility to pursue what interests them and still graduate in four years.

“Forever Flyers”

UD students are known as Flyers because the famed Wright Brothers hail from Dayton (as does the late humorist writer Erma Bombeck, a UD graduate). Alumni are forever a part of the Flyer community, with lifelong access to UD career services and its job search network. With an engaged alumni base, UD pairs every student with an alum to help them make connections in their field and find opportunities.

If you seek a mid-sized school with a robust social life and community, seek a high level of campus involvement and experiential learning, and are drawn to the Catholic, Marianist values of commitment to inclusion, belonging, discovering your true vocation and advancing social justice, you might just discover that UD is a gem of a school.

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