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Lewis University


Roman Catholic colleges are popular with students who want to learn more about religious topics and study their faith while in college. While you might think that these schools are only open to students of a specific faith, most welcome students of all types. Though Lewis University is a Roman Catholic college, it encourages students who want to enjoy the excitement of living on a smaller campus to apply. Established in 1932 after a local man named Frank Lewis donated the funds necessary for its campus, the college opened as the Holy Name Technical School. It wasn’t until years later that it added Lewis’s name to its own name. The campus closed down briefly during World War II and served as a training camp for soldiers before opening its doors again as Lewis College and later Lewis University.

U.S. News & World Report picked Lewis University as one of the best private colleges and called its graduate school one of the best in the nation. The Princeton Review choose Lewis as one of the top schools in the Midwest region. Its enrollment includes around 4,600 undergrads and close to 2,000 graduate and doctoral students. Many of its students join NCAA teams on campus like its basketball and volleyball teams, but the university also offers other clubs and activities. Students can sign up for charity programs during the spring and summer breaks to help needy people in other parts of the country.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

Lewis University Accreditation Details

Not all private colleges have regional accreditation, but Lewis University has accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. If you attend an accredited college and want to transfer some of the credits you earned into your degree program, this type of accreditation helps it happen. Regional accreditation is also a requirement of students hoping to get financial aid after filling out the FAFSA. Lewis also has specialized accreditation for its programs in business, nursing and education. Those forms of accreditation come from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Lewis University Application Requirements

If you want to get financial aid in the form of scholarships, you’ll need to apply earlier in the year. Lewis University has an early decision deadline at the beginning of December. Those who complete their applications and submit all required documents prior to this deadline will get preference when the school awards scholarships. You’ll find out before you head back to school in January whether you got in and if you qualify for any of those scholarships. All students have until the middle of February to apply for all remaining scholarships, and the deadline for regular admission is in the middle of April. If you wait until later in the year to apply though, you may miss out on the university’s scholarships.

There are four requirements for students applying to the university and two optional steps. The completed application is the first step, and you can either mail in the application form or submit the form online. Lewis then requires that you mail an official high school transcript or an official form that shows you have a GED and the score you earned on the GED test. Students will also need to pay an application fee of $40 and submit an ACT or SAT test score. You can also send letters of recommendation and/or a personal essay or statement that you write regarding why you want to attend Lewis and what you want to do in college and later.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Lewis University offers something called a fixed block tuition rate. This allows full time students the chance to take 12 credit hours up to 18 credit hours each semester and pay just one rate. The rate for this program is just under $30,000 a year or close to $15,000 a semester. Part time students and those who take classes during one of the summer sessions pay between $550 and $880 per credit hour. The amount you pay depends on the department in which you take your classes. Living on the Lewis campus will add at least $5,000 to your semester costs for both a meal plan and room.

The founders of Lewis University wanted to create a school that everyone could afford. The scholarships that the university offers today range in size from $4,000 to $15,000 a year and are open to all students who apply before the deadline. The university hands out nearly $60 million in funds every year to students and awards financial aid to more than 90% of its student body. While you may receive some grants or loans, you can also ask about the university’s work study program. All the jobs available through this federal program pay minimum wage or more and let you work near your room and classes.

Student Experience

Forensic criminal investigation is just one of the unique major programs available at Lewis University. This program prepares students for working with police departments and law enforcement officers in a professional setting. The program features classes on human anatomy, human development, elements of criminal law, criminal procedures and the court system. While many of its students are police officers, the program is open to all types of students. You can even pick and choose from electives and other courses based on your career plans.

The university also offers a degree in journalism that students can customize. While you can study traditional writing for newspapers, you’ll also have the chance to learn about writing for new media forms and writing for websites. Students can also take classes on radio broadcasting, advertising, public relations and television broadcasting.

In addition to athletic teams, the university encourages students to sign up for the university ministry, campus newspaper and other activities. Students can take classes from the fitness center on water aerobics, yoga, spinning and other exercise techniques. Those who want to give back and help others might sign up for one of the service organizations like Habitat for Humanity. The Lewis University branch of Habitat for Humanity builds home for needy families all across the state of Illinois and lets students participate in trips to other parts of the country on school breaks.