BenU Promise made: An affordable private liberal arts education

May 4, 2015

Lisle, Illinois ~ When Stephanie Saghafi talks to her friends at large public universities, she is often reassured she made the right decision to attend Benedictine University.

While her friends are attending undergraduate classes in auditoriums filled with more than 300 students, the freshman History major is learning in classrooms that average 17 students, allowing for open discussion and interaction with expert professors who can call on her by name. She has also had many opportunities to standout as a leader and grow career skills while in her first year at the University.

And while her friends are growing concerned about amassing debt by the tens of thousands of dollars each year, Saghafi doesn’t worry. That’s because she’s received almost three times as much in scholarships than she would have received had she gone to a different school.

“Due to my financial aid package, Benedictine was extremely affordable for me,” Saghafi said. “When you factor in financial aid and scholarships, the price you actually pay is way worth the education and experience you receive here. College in general is expensive, and you have to expect that you’ll have to pay some money and take out some loans no matter where you go. At Benedictine, you receive an amazing education as well as community support.”

She is just one of many students who have noticed that Benedictine makes a private, values-based education affordable. The University understands the financial burden many students and families face when deciding on attending college. That is why Benedictine devotes nearly a quarter of its annual budget to student scholarships and employs a financial aid staff that is determined to help students effectively manage and apply all possible forms of financial aid to their tuition.

As a nonprofit university, every dollar that the University takes in is reinvested in the success – present and future – of our students.

Marea D’Lonn Mason, C13, Communication Arts, earned a degree and took advantage of many extracurricular opportunities afforded to students at Benedictine at a fraction of the cost. In addition to financial aid, she received several merit- and need-based scholarship awards that together covered 80 percent of her tuition.

“I always knew Benedictine was the right fit for me,” Mason said. “I liked the small classroom sizes, the diversity and the overall campus life. The resources available to students are priceless. With endless opportunities, from networking with professional alumni to sitting in with guest speakers and building your resume, Benedictine offers a lot for students with no additional cost.”

Benedictine is small enough to care, but large enough to make a difference.

At Benedictine, more than 98 percent of all incoming freshmen receive some form of institutional financial assistance and 90 percent of all full-time undergraduates receive some form of financial aid.

Heriberto Diaz, C13, Political Science, earned a degree from Benedictine debt-free.

“I was very fortunate to receive scholarships during my time at BenU, and by taking advantage of those opportunities I was able to earn my bachelor’s degree with no debt,” Diaz said. “Students who are concerned about accumulating debt after graduation need to consider the benefits of attending a college like Benedictine where they will be competing against fewer students for private scholarships than if they were to attend a large public school.

“Benedictine makes a great effort to alleviate the financial burden through a wealth of scholarships and by attempting to not increase tuition,” he added.

Scholarship opportunities aren’t just limited to undergraduate students. Even students who transfer into the University receive financial assistance that makes attending Benedictine much more cost-effective than other schools.

“The staff here made all the steps with financial aid very clear,” said Shannen Hitzeman, a junior Radiation Therapy major. “My transfer advisor sent me many emails making sure I got every opportunity and did not miss any deadlines. The transfer student scholarship I received helped me feel better about my loan debt. I am also currently working on campus, which has taken some of the stress about money away while giving me more experience for the future.

“The scholarships offered by the University really do affect people who plan on coming here,” she added. “I know I plan on applying for as many as I qualify for to help with next year’s tuition.”

To learn more about the Benedictine Promise, visit or to learn more about becoming a student at Benedictine, go to

For more stories from students and alumni who have benefited from Benedictine’s affordability factor, visit


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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Gary Kohn
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(630) 829-6095