Lyon College recently announced the creation of the Backyard Access Plan for area high school graduates that will encourage students to receive a world-class education close to home for much less than it would cost them to attend an out-of-town college or university. “Lyon College has a rich tradition of serving Independence County and our region for the past 150years. Lyon alumni are our teachers, principals, business professionals, physicians, dentists, veterinarians, medical professionals, attorneys, and church and community leaders,” said Dean of Admissions Tommy Newton. “Many of today’s students and parents do not realize that one of the nation’s best private colleges is located right in their backyard,” Newton said. “With the Backyard Access Plan, we’re hoping to change that perception and to let area students know that a high-quality Lyon College education is within their reach. ”With Lyon College’s Backyard Access Plan, area students who wish to lower their higher education costs and commute from home have an option to go straight into a four-year bachelor’s program out of high school. The program will also benefit transfer students at two-year colleges such as the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, Ozarka College and Arkansas State University-Newport. For the amount of a full Pell Grant and the amount of the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship for the current year, students graduating from high schools in 16 area districts can commute to Lyon College for zero out-of-pocket tuition costs. Commuter students who qualify for a portion of a Pell Grant or no Pell Grant at all are only charged tuition in the amount of a full Pell Grant plus the amount of the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship for the current academic year. “If you receive a full Pell Grant and the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship, we cover the rest of your tuition,” said Lyon College Executive Director of Financial Aid Tommy Tucker. “But even if you don’t receive any or all of those funds, your net tuition will be no more than those amounts combined. In other words, all Backyard Access Plan students will receive the same great Lyon College Scholarship. ”Fees, books and supplies are not included in the cost of tuition. Participating schools include Batesville High School, Southside High School, Bald Knob High School, Bradford High School, Cave City High School, Cedar Ridge High School, Concord High School, Heber Springs High School, Highland High School, Hillcrest High School, Izard County Consolidated High School, Melbourne High School, Mid-land High School, Mountain View High School, New-port High School and Tuckerman High School. “Commuter students enjoy the many benefits of Lyon College, including academic programs in more than 20 disciplines, as well as pre-professional pro-grams leading to careers in education, law, medicine, physical therapy and more. They’ll also have access to all student life activities, the outdoor adventure pro-gram, all athletic events, the library, the campus clinic—everything residential students experience at Lyon College,” Tucker said. “Not only does the Back-yard Access Plan cut down on tuition costs, students can take advantage of commuting to Lyon College from their family’s home, right here in beautiful north Arkansas. They’ll be home for family events, home-cooked meals, church services and local job opportunities. Plus, they’ll be able to share their hometowns with their Lyon College friends.”
“Best of all, they will have the benefit of learning from Lyon College’s award-winning faculty in an intimate classroom environment. They won’t have graduate assistants teaching their classes in large lecture halls. ”Area students who would like to live on campus will receive a Backyard Access Plan resident grant of$3,750, which will bring their annual room and board (meal plan) cost to only $7,000.“This is substantially lower than room and board at many out-of-town colleges and universities,” Tucker said. “We want to give our local students who want to experience residence life an affordable opportunity to participate. ”Lyon College is frequently recognized as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, ranked as a nationwide top college by Forbes.com, a “Best Southeast-ern College” by the Princeton Review and a “Best Bang for the Buck” college and “Most Socially Beneficial College in Arkansas ”by Washington Monthly, which also recognized Lyon for recruiting and graduating the highest percentage of low-income students of any college in the state. Last year, 99 percent of Lyon College graduates were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation. Area students who are interested in the Backyard Access Plan should submit their free application for admission to Lyon College at lyon.edu/applynow. They also should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA)and/or add Lyon College to their FAFSA application, and visit with a Lyon College admissions representative to discuss their future at Lyon College. For more information on the Backyard Access Plan, please contact Tommy Tucker at [email protected]. For more information on Lyon College admissions, please contact Tommy Newton at Thom-[email protected] or call 870-307-7000.