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Georgian Court, Donovan Catholic Enter Guaranteed Admissions Partnership

High school students smiling holding GCU items

Representatives from Donovan Catholic and Georgian Court celebrate the signing of a new guaranteed admissions partnership. Standing are Donovan Catholic students Brooke Sobieski, Brianna Lonergan, Adam Mangold, Cissy He, and Christiaan Dailey. Seated are Edward Gere, Ed.D., principal; Fr. Scott Shaffer, director; Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., GCU president; and Justin G. Roy, GCU dean of admissions.

Leaders from Georgian Court University and Donovan Catholic called it “a great day for Catholic education in Ocean County” as they signed a new admissions agreement giving high school students access to additional college scholarships, early college credit, and more.

“We are two institutions that share similar values embedded in Catholic education,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. “At Donovan Catholic, they recognize the benefit of a values-enriched educational experience, and so do we.”

The agreement was signed by Dr. Marbach, GCU Dean of Admissions Justin G. Roy, Father Scott Shaffer, director of Donovan Catholic, and Edward Gere, Ed.D., principal of the school, on November 30.

“I believe that the agreement that was signed today is another example of Donovan Catholic working for the benefit of our student,” said Father Scott. “This new venture is a collaboration between the only Catholic high school and the only Catholic university in Ocean County.”

Dr. Gere reiterated the importance of the two institutions working together.

“Catholic education is alive and well in Ocean County,” he said. “It’s not everywhere that you can get a Catholic education from preschool through graduate school,” he said, referencing GCU’s master’s-level offerings. “Access to faith-based education is especially important, given the times that we live in.”

GCU president shaking a priest hand
Fr. Scott Shaffer, director of Donovan Catholic, and GCU President Dr. Joseph R. Marbach make it official.

Guaranteed Admissions Partnership

Under the new guaranteed admissions agreement between GCU and Donovan Catholic, students will:

• 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 Donovan Catholic; and
• attend GCU college search and financial aid workshops on site at Donovan Catholic.

The agreement, effective Fall 2017, is one of several new GCU partnerships. In recent months, the university has collaborated with Holy Cross Academy, St. Joseph High School, Trenton Catholic Academy, and other institutions to address some of the toughest issues facing higher education—affordability and accessibility.

“We are keenly aware of the needs of families in Ocean County where we know affording college is a key issue among parents,” Dr. Marbach said. “This partnership is another step toward making a GCU education more affordable to families from Donovan Catholic.”

Access and Opportunity

This kind of collaboration is also about opportunity, said Mr. Roy, noting that Donovan Catholic students will have on-campus and online access to GCU college-level courses before they graduate. Earning course credits at a deeply discounted rate pays off in the long run, he said.

“It could represent a massive savings,” Mr. Roy told students at the signing ceremony. “You could also have the opportunity to be immersed in a college community earlier and get a feel for campus life.”

As a benefit of the agreement, Donovan Catholic students and parents can get advice and information from GCU admissions counselors on topics like the college search process and understanding financial aid.

Collaborative Partners for Success

The agreements are an extension of GCU’s Catholic Schools Initiative, which launched in late 2015. As a partner with Catholic high schools, GCU has established specific scholarships for students and dedicated two GCU admissions contacts to every Catholic high school in the Trenton, Metuchen, and Camden dioceses. GCU is also offering college-level classes to juniors and seniors at select Catholic high schools.

In addition, the university is launching new programs with Mercer County Community College and also with Brookdale Community College at its Hazlet/Northern Monmouth location.

About Donovan Catholic

The high school community of Donovan Catholic educates its students to live their faith, respect and serve others, and pursue academic excellence in a college preparatory environment. Donovan Catholic leaders, faculty and staff support and enrich the school’s Catholic culture by integrating faith within the curriculum and encouraging prayer and worship as a school community. Mirroring the teachings of Pope Francis, the principles of forgiveness, love and service to others support the school’s commitment to enriching the faith of the entire Donovan Catholic community.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings, and in 2024, GCU was named one of the best Online Master’s Colleges in New Jersey.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.