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Cornerstone Program

The Cornerstone Program is a persistence and success program for first-generation college students during their freshman year at Valparaiso University. The Cornerstone Program provides opportunities for educational and social engagement that promote success and development in the university setting.


Students who meet the following criteria will be invited to participate:

  • First-year students at Valparaiso University
  • Enrolled full-time (12 credit hours)
  • First-generation college student (parents did not attend college)
  • Students who are not first-generation but need additional support will also be invited to participate


By participating in the program, students will receive:

  • Connection with peers, mentors, and professional staff
  • Supplemental guidance and support promoting academic success
  • Educational and personal development
  • Leadership opportunity to be a mentor in their sophomore year

Students who complete the program requirements will be awarded a one-time $500 scholarship, funded by Financial Aid, at the start of the fall semester in their sophomore year.

Program Requirements
  • Monthly Meet Ups are hosted on a variety of topics to educate Cornerstone students and connect them with campus resources. Topics may include a campus resource tour, registering for classes, self-care, getting involved on campus, career and leadership development, and more. Cornerstone students must attend 75 percent of Monthly Meet Ups each semester to receive the scholarship.
  • Peer Mentorship is provided by students who successfully completed the program in their first year at Valpo. Cornerstone students meet with their peer mentor at least once per semester for personal, academic, and social support and guidance at Valpo.
  • Financial Literacy education is provided to Cornerstone students in partnership with the Office of Financial Aid. Cornerstone students meet with their financial aid advisor at least once per semester to review their financial aid package, discuss the FAFSA application process, and explore options for additional funding.
Current Events

Check out our upcoming programs on myValpo!


Any questions regarding the Cornerstone Program can be directed towards the program advisor, Noelle Pease, or by emailing