American university students will be glad to hear that the ways to fund their education have grown. Three schools had renewed their pledge to guarantee an affordable education to low-income students. The saviors are Texas A&M, Boston University and Vanderbilt, who joined 50 other schools who made similar promises to the public.
The Major Problem
This is certainly good news when you take into account how poorly the nation’s economy is holding up. The financial crisis has affected everyone, including deserving students who are working two jobs to keep their life afloat.
Granted they are not full scholarships or study grants, but merely financial aids that could probably ease some of the burden from the students’ backs. There are terms and conditions that need to be adhered to and not everyone qualifies.
The Rich – Texas A&M Scholarships
For the freshmen at the College Station campus of Texas A&M, there is good news about to come their way. Starting from 2012, any student from a family who is earning less than $60,000 and manages to maintained a B minus average will be given financial aid, in the form of the Aggie Assurance Scholarship. There is an estimated $300,000 ready to be given out to deserving students for this year alone. And the amount is expected to grow as more students start joining Texas A&M.
In fact, many freshmen of Texas A&M has already been promised financial help, says the assistant provost. In the coming future, around 5,000 students will be given these financial packages that come to a cost of about $3 million a year. This is made possible by the fact that Texas isn’t hit with the financial storm as severely as other states due to having vast reserves of oil.
As said before, the money given away will not be used to cover everything. Students still need to pay for their living costs and it isn’t cheap. An average annual living cost estimate that includes food, lodging, study aids and travel amount to about $12,000.
The Bold – Vanderbilt Scholarships
Vanderbilt has taken a similar route in giving their students financial aid. All need-based loans will be replaced by study grants, a move which will cost it $15 million annually. The grants will also be given to seniors for their spring semester and this will deeply impact Vanderbilt, since it’s not having a very stable economy.
Although another $100 million is needed to keep the momentum going, Douglas Christiansen, associate provost for enrollment and dean of admissions is optimistic. He says they will have to work doubly hard to ensure they meet all demands. This statement is agreed upon by other school officials who believe the students are worth all the trouble, no matter where they’re from or what financial state they’re in.
The Famous – Boston University Scholarships
Boston University has also followed the footsteps of the two schools. Last September, they released a statement saying they would give full scholarship to needy and deserving students that will cover almost everything. No loans will be given and the total amount BU has to part with will be dependant on number of students applying.
To support this move, Boston University will cut down on its Boston Scholars program, in which 50 public high school graduates receive a full scholarship every year. Even then, there are skeptics. Colin Riley, a spokesman for the university, said a further $1 million is needed to get this program moving.
To safeguard their money chest, Boston University has stopped hiring new workers and has put construction on hold. Riley says that they are not in any difficulty, but just wanted to be cautious, adding that there is already enough money in the kitty.
But of course, these applications for financial aid will need an examination of the students’ and their families’ funds, or lack of it. And these checks will be thorough. On top of that, there is the problem of different families having different ideas on what they could afford. However, any financial aid given will be a pleasure for these low-income students.