The dome and campus at Immaculata University (Photo courtesy Immaculata University)

Graduating students of the 17 archdiocesan high schools will enjoy guaranteed admission to Immaculata University and qualifying students may earn a new $9,000 merit scholarship for tuition assistance.

The university and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office of Catholic Education announced the joint agreement Oct. 24. The incentives will become effective for students entering the university in the fall of 2019 and 2020.

The agreement “provides a clear pathway for students to have access to an affordable quality education,” said Immaculata President Barbara Lettiere.

Under the program, students must be admitted as full-time, first-time students at Immaculata with a grade-point average of at least 2.5 and a combined SAT score of 990, and they must satisfy other application requirements.

The merit scholarship, worth a minimum of $9,000, is renewable for three additional consecutive years of full-time status, provided students maintain a benchmark GPA.

Archdiocesan students who earn a higher GPA may qualify for additional merit-based aid in the form of a Catholic school grant that provides a further $2,000 in financial aid.

Immaculata’s current undergraduate tuition is $26,500. The university reduced its tuition 25 percent in January 2017 and announced last December that it would not increase tuition this year.

“The Office of Catholic Education is grateful to Immaculata University for recognizing graduates of the secondary schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with this opportunity,” said Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M., chief academic officer and superintendent of secondary schools for the archdiocese. “The agreement helps to support Catholic education as a K-16 experience for our young people.”

Among the more than 1,400 undergraduate, traditional-aged students at Immaculata, 38 percent graduate from Catholic high schools. Latest figures indicate 2,462 total students attend the university.

Administrators of Immaculata and OCE lauded the agreement as a sign of the commitment of both institutions to provide access and opportunity for a quality education.

Immaculata is a co-ed university in Chester County established by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1920. The university offers academic programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels, and offers 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports to student-athletes.