The Jesuits have a reputation of being robust educators and contributors to some of the great universities in America. They also have been known to provide preferential treatment for the poor, and recently Pope Francis has stressed this type of commitment. So it is strange that the two have not been brought together—until now.
Loyola University Chicago has unveiled plans to open a Jesuit community college named Arrupe College on August 17, 2015. The college is named after Pedro Arrupe, S.J. a former Jesuit superior general, known especially for his faith and his work with the poor. Arrupe College will work to combat one of the strongest deterrents from higher education: cost. As Loyola University Chicago outlines, “The affordability of Arrupe College is a critical key to the model. All students who enroll will receive student aid, and the expectation is that students will carry little to no debt after completion of the program.”
“Arrupe College addresses a serious problem in higher education across the country—the need to increase access to, and completion rates of, post-secondary education degrees for students from low-income families,” Loyola University Chicago maintained. Arrupe College hopes for an incoming class of at least 100 freshmen. The college will serve some of Chicago’s poorer students and will even offer their programs and financial aid to undocumented students.
Arrupe College will be the nation's first Jesuit community college and the administration of Loyola University Chicago hopes to be starting a trend.
Arrupe College will model both the Cristo Rey Network and private universities. Arrupe College hopes to create a dynamic and flexible environment with the ability to create new degree programs. As is stated on the LUC website, “The core curriculum will be delivered in eight-week sessions and run four days per week with two classes each eight-week session. Students will complete most of their out-of-class work at school, and they are encouraged to hold part-time jobs.”
The college will be housed in Maguire Hall on the Water Tower Campus.