USD Expands Torero Promise Program to Cristo Rey San Diego High School, Providing a Pathway to College for Students

USD Expands Torero Promise Program to Cristo Rey San Diego High School, Providing a Pathway to College for Students

Qualified students at Cristo Rey San Diego High School will now be able to take advantage of a special admission track opportunity to attend the University of San Diego (USD), with 100 percent of their family’s demonstrated financial need met, through USD’s Torero Promise program. 

Launched in 2017, the Torero Promise program provides a pathway to college for graduating seniors at one of the 10 participating high schools who have a 3.7 GPA or higher, have taken at least three honors-level courses and have no disciplinary or academic violations. If a student fulfills these qualifications, they receive automatic admission to USD.

In addition, USD will also meet 100 percent of the federally demonstrated financial need of the student with a personalized financial assistance package that may include student loans, work study and financial aid.

Stephen Pultz, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment, says this is an important step in helping USD achieve some of  its strategic goals.  “The Torero Promise has been incredibly successful in helping us provide opportunity to our local Catholic community,” said Pultz  “Adding Cristo Rey to the program extends that opportunity to some of our city’s most underserved communities and supports USD’s commitment to setting the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university,” he added.

“Cristo Rey’s unique model allows the school to offer an affordable, Catholic, college preparatory education to students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds, most of whom will be the first in their family to attend college,” stated Robert Nascenzi, the school’s founding president. “The opportunity for our students to attend USD is a huge step forward in helping the school fulfill its mission, and we are grateful for being included in such a noble program”

Cristo Rey San Diego High School is the tenth school to be a part of USD’s Torero Promise Program. The high school serves low-income families and will join nine other Catholic high schools in San Diego County, Riverside, San Bernardino and Temecula. Participating high schools include: Academy of Our Lady of Peace, Cathedral Catholic High School, Mater Dei Catholic High School, St. Augustine High School, and St. Vincent Memorial in San Diego County, Aquinas High School, Notre Dame and Xavier High Schools in the Riverside and San Bernardino Diocese and St. Jeanne de Lestonnac in Temecula.

Since the program began, applications from these schools have more than doubled, increasing from 201 in 2017 to 475 in 2022.  In 2017, 35 students enrolled from these high schools and as of today, USD has 105 confirmed for fall 2022.


About the University of San Diego

Strengthened by the Catholic intellectual tradition, we confront humanity’s challenges by fostering peace, working for justice and leading with love. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the Knauss School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In 2021, USD was named a “Laudato Si’ University” by the Vatican with a seven-year commitment to address humanity’s urgent challenges by working together to take care of our common home.


Elena Gomez
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