Aerial photo of the Case Western Reserve University campus, especially Case Quad and Adelbert Hall, in fall

The Howley Foundation, Case Western Reserve to increase opportunity for Cleveland, Philadelphia parochial school graduates

Admitted students from select high schools with Howley Scholars to attend CWRU at little to no cost—and without any loans

The Howley Foundation and Case Western Reserve today announced a new partnership that will allow admitted graduates from select Cleveland and Philadelphia parochial schools to attend the university at little to no cost—and without loans. 

“We have always believed that the best practical way to create social and economic mobility is to provide high quality educational opportunities,” said Nick and Lorie Howley, who launched their foundation in 2003. “This collaboration creates an opportunity for students to learn and excel at a leading national university—without incurring debt.”

Nick and Lorie Howley’s philanthropic engagement started with a single scholarship for a student attending a Cleveland area high school. Today, the foundation annually provides financial assistance to more than 900 students enrolled primarily in parochial (mostly Catholic) high schools in Cleveland and Philadelphia. More recently, the organization began to fund scholarships for graduates to pursue higher education as well. The foundation also supports a range of other academic enrichment and career-based programs.

“The generosity of The Howley Foundation has allowed hundreds of students to experience academic opportunities that otherwise would be out of reach,” Case Western Reserve President Eric W. Kaler said. “We are honored to partner with the organization to open new possibilities for graduates of eligible high schools in Northeast Ohio and in Philadelphia.”

To participate in this Howley College Scholars Program, students must receive nominations from their high schools and earn admission to Case Western Reserve. Alumni coordinators from the Scholars’ respective high schools will assist students with course selection and processes relating to financial aid, internships and work-study opportunities. In addition, a university advisor will engage with enrolled Scholars regarding academic progress, potential obstacles and opportunities beyond the classroom.

“It’s just a tremendous opportunity,” said St. Martin De Porres High School President Charles “Chaz” Napoli. “And it’s a perfect fit to what we’re all about.”

In addition to those graduating from St. Martin De Porres, Greater Cleveland students at Benedictine, Cleveland Central Catholic, Gilmour Academy, St. Joseph Academy, Villa Angela St. Joseph and St. Ignatius high schools also may be nominated to become Howley College Scholars. 

“It’s hard to put into words what this means,” Gilmour Academy Head of School Kathleen C. Kenny said. “This gift is transformational, life-changing… It makes the next step to an academically excellent school feel attainable.”

Participating high schools in the Philadelphia area include Cristo Rey Philadelphia, Merion Mercy Academy, St. Joseph’s Preparatory and West Catholic. Howley College Scholars also must be eligible to receive federal Pell grants.

Education has been a priority for Lorie and Nick Howley throughout their lives. Lorie Howley holds two degrees from Cornell University and taught in the horticultural field for many years. She has led the Howley Foundation for more than a decade before becoming its board president in 2014. 

A native of the Greater Philadelphia area, Nick earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Drexel University, then an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is founder and executive chairman of the TransDigm Group, a publicly NYSE-traded aerospace manufacturing company based in Cleveland. The company is one of the largest suppliers of aerospace parts in the world. Nick Howley also is a founder and chairman of Perimeter Solutions, a NYSE-traded company that is the largest supplier of wildfire-fighting products and services in the world. He previously served as a Case Western Reserve trustee.

Earlier this month, Case Western Reserve announced a major expansion of its Cleveland Scholars program, which serves eligible graduates of public East Cleveland and Cleveland high schools (including Cleveland partner charter schools). Starting with scholars entering in the fall of 2024, campus and federal support will cover the entire cost of attendance—eliminating the need for student loans.