SOMERVILLE, NJ,- Officials from Georgian Court University and Immaculata High School are partners in a new guaranteed admissions agreement that gives students at the Somerville-based school a range of advantages as they prepare for college.

The agreement, signed Sept. 26 by Immaculata Principal Jean G. Kline, GCU President Joseph R. Marbach,  is effective as of the signing.

Under the agreement, qualified Immaculata High School students will:

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- have their undergraduate admission application fee waived;

- be eligible for academic and partnership scholarships, worth up to $19,000 annually;

- be eligible for guaranteed admissions to Course Ahead, the GCU five-course college credit program offered to high school students;

- get personalized admissions advising from GCU on site at Immaculata; and

- attend GCU college search and financial aid workshops on site at Immaculata.

“Guaranteed admissions represents is an exciting opportunity for GCU and for Immaculata’s students,” said GCU Dean of Admissions Justin G. Roy. “We believe strongly in the power of Catholic higher education and the many ways Georgian Court can provide an experience that mirrors Immaculata’s emphasis on challenging academics and improving the lives of others.”

“For our students to have a guarantee to continue Catholic education at the university level and be able to reduce the cost of higher education at the same time is such a blessing,” Kline said.

“We know from experience—and from data— that Catholic higher education delivers value to students and families in so many ways,” said Marbach. “From our commitment to Catholic intellectual tradition to our emphasis on academic quality, social justice, and service, Catholic higher education—and specifically Georgian Court—is dedicated to helping students achieve in the classroom and later in their communities and their careers.”

Washington Monthly magazine recently named GCU in the Top 50 Best Bang for the Buck colleges in the Northeast, and the university also earned recognition this year from Catholic Colleges of Distinction. Students at the Lakewood-based university also volunteered more than 4,500 service learning hours as part of their academic experience in 176 courses. And nationally, GCU student-athletes took top honors in the 2017 NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Community Service Competition after they amassed more than 2,800 community service hours in 60+ events.

“Georgian Court has been recognized by these organizations for doing what we do best—expanding possibility in the lives of the students entrusted to us,” said Marbach. “Indeed, it is faith-based institutions like Georgian Court where students are afforded the luxury of discerning their vocation, the ability to answer their calling, and the opportunity to realize their full potential.”

“Catholic colleges and universities also do a better job of ensuring students graduate,” Roy said. noting the most recent findings from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. “Immaculata is doing its part to make sure students are ready for college—through guaranteed admissions, we can help them take the next step.”

Nationally, the average graduation rate is about 42 percent; for Catholic colleges and universities, that figure is significantly higher at 59 percent.