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Financial Aid News!

When It Comes to College Costs, Middle-Class Kids Are Still Screwed
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News
Apr 30, 2016
“The study by researchers at Vanderbilt University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Institute for Research in Higher Education found that since 2008, overall college affordability has fallen 45 states, owing in part to slashed state spending on higher education in the years during and since the Great Recession. As a result, low- and middle-income earners in certain states now must spend as much as 76 percent of their annual income to pay a student’s tuition and expenses at a four-year public school, according to the study, The 2016 College Affordability Diagnosis. Meanwhile, financial aid doesn’t go as far as it did before, access to it has tightened, and a working student would need to work so many hours to pay the bills—and probably is already facing pressure to support him or herself, or a family—that college would take a backseat to finding a job, the study says.”
Everything you need to know about paying for college before decision day
by Education
Apr 08, 2016
“To make sure families are armed with all of the information they need during this time, we've compiled articles that cover everything from financial aid letters to tuition insurance policies.”
Veterans office adds new position to process benefits
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 25, 2016
“A new program coordinator joined the University’s military and veteran student services team this month.
Kellis Robbins, a 2015 alumna who has worked for more than two years in Veterans Accelerate Learning Opportunities and Rewards student services, joined the office’s staff full-time to help process and handle GI Bill benefits for student veterans.
Veteran students receive yearly funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of the GI Bill, which can cover their rent, tuition and other expenses.
Victoria Pridemore, associate director of military and veteran student services, said in an email that Robbins started her new position April 1. Robbins will begin studying for a master's in communication management at GW this fall.
“Kellis will have a direct student services role, helping facilitate benefits processing for the more than 1,700 VALOR students at GW,” Pridemore said. “We are excited that she has joined our team.”
Robbins declined to comment for this story.
Robbins is one of three full-time staff members now working in the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services, along with several student veteran employees employed through the Department of Veterans Affairs work-study program.
The office has not added a new position in at least two years, and Robbins’ hire comes at a time of turnover and change in the University’s military and veteran affairs department. At the beginning of this month, Mel Williams, the associate provost for veteran and military affairs at GW, left the University to take a position at the University of California, Davis. Officials said the VALOR office will now be moved under the Division of Student Affairs.
Yannick Baptiste, president of GW Veterans, said hiring Robbins will primarily help the office by aiding benefit-processing for veterans.
In 2014, student veterans from the former Corcoran College of Art + Design saw their benefits delayed in the merger when the Corcoran's financial aid lost benefits forms for some of its veteran students.
He added that Robbins will not have a tough transition because she is an alumna and has worked in the office.
“The hiring of Kellis Robbins will not change the office too much,” Baptiste said. “She was already working there for Veterans Affairs work-study, and now will simply have more responsibilities.”
Mike Connolly, director of military and veterans services at the University of Nebraska Omaha, said adding personnel to help with benefits processing is a smart move by the University because it is a task that often receives too little attention in military and veteran services offices at other universities.
“The benefits side is a very important piece of veterans service that has to be done,” Connolly said. “It’s a certain level of staffing that universities need to pay for.””

Essay: My disability doesn't make me an 'other'
by The GW Hatchet
Apr 25, 2016
“Jaggar DeMarco, a senior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist.
Media Credit: Emily Robinson | Design Assistant
Earlier this semester, I had yet another hard conversation about my disability: I had to appeal my financial aid rescission after receiving multiple “incompletes” in classes during the fall term. I wasn’t able to turn in assignments on time due to a stint in the hospital, a subsequent period of recovery and lack of availability from the “scribes” who help me write my assignments.
If less than 75 percent of credit hours are not fulfilled for two consecutive semesters, then financial aid is revoked. I received an email the week I returned to campus this spring notifying me that I lost my financial aid, despite having conversations with my professors and planning when I could finish outstanding assignments.
To explain why I couldn't meet satisfactory academic progress, I had to fill out a form for the financial aid office. When checking boxes on the form, there was only one option that applied to what I was going through: “other.” Options like “illness” didn’t explain my life here.
The system doesn’t account for students like me who face underlying issues in completing coursework.
I know that University officials don’t mean any harm in using the word “other” on the form as a classification. But for me, it was emblematic of my entire GW career. I don’t exactly fit the mold of a student no matter where I go. More often than not, I am an “other” on campus.
I have the burden of justifying my presence at GW by explaining my disability. I face challenges that professors and students cannot understand. Over the course of my four years at GW, I’ve had so many tough conversations that it’s exhausting to think of having them again.
I’m not able to get into some academic buildings – like the townhouses on G Street – which has forced me to initiate awkward conversations with professors about why I can’t meet them there.
When a class is scheduled in a building on the opposite side of campus, I have to advocate to Disability Support Services to move that classroom to avoid the lengthy, and perhaps impossible, commute in the cold winter months. Most students schedule their classes with time in mind, but I also have to consider their location – something most students would not understand.
And when my classes are moved, professors complain about the new spaces. One of my professors complained almost every class about the shortcomings of the newly-assigned classroom. I never told any of my classmates – or even the professor – that I was the reason why we had to change locations.
And on multiple instances in class, I have had discussions with other students who say deadlines are helpful for them because they force them to accomplish their goals. For me, few things are more anxiety-inducing than impending deadlines. I feel I am always at the mercy of other people to accomplish my tasks. I can plan ahead all I want, but to a certain extent, some part of the process is always out of my control. I heavily rely on other people's schedules to help me accomplish school work. Besides that, I don’t have control of my health, either.
Every time I have conversations with my peers like this, I find myself back at the drawing board – once again, explaining why I am here and why I need certain things other students don’t to adequately achieve my tasks.
Becoming a columnist for The Hatchet has given me a platform to write about different disability-related issues on campus. The newspaper was a place where I could hopefully reach the entire University community with a column, instead of talking to just one person at a time.
The first time I wrote for The Hatchet was about a month into my freshman year. I submitted a letter to the editor in response to a news article about Disability Support Services in which I was quoted. I introduced myself to the GW community because I felt misrepresented in the news article. I wanted Hatchet readers to hear about my experiences and let people know that despite my visible differences, I am not actually that different from other GW students – and I wanted the same freshman experience as anyone else.
That was my first time speaking publicly about what it means to be a disabled student on campus, but it clearly was not the last. However, writing columns isn’t enough to solve all the problems disabled students on campus face: People should try to understand our challenges.
It isn’t lost on me how lucky I am to even be here. I sometimes feel bad complaining about GW and higher education in general when I am weeks away from graduation. There are so many members of the disabled community that couldn't dream of making it to graduation – let alone pursuing a five-year, dual-degree program at GW, like I am.
However, as a person who does have this privilege, I have a responsibility to speak out and represent the interests of the people who cannot be here. I need to serve as their voice within the institution, in the hopes of one day helping more disabled students participate in higher education, as well.
The physical and emotional obstacles that I have encountered at GW will likely never change – at least not any time soon. The thing that could change is awareness. My first letter to the editor, this essay in my senior year or other things as small as these can show that while the disabled community has gained a voice on campus, there are ways to show we are more than the “other” box.
Want to publish a personal essay? Submit your idea.”

ADOCH showcases diversity, student life to admitted students
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 22, 2016
“Brown greeted a record number of 915 admitted students to its campus Tuesday through Thursday for A Day on College Hill, the University’s welcome event for students admitted through regular decision. This marks the first year that ADOCH did not overlap with other Ivies’ admitted student events.
“We have spent so much time with you for the past six months. You’ve been in our offices. You’ve been in our homes. We’ve had a wicked good time,” joked Dean of Admission Jim Miller ’73 at the reception. Citing more than 32,000 applications, Miller announced his retirement, saying, “I say this every year, and I really mean it this year because it will be the last time I will ever say it — we really do expect the Class of 2020 to be the single best class of Brown.”
President Christina Paxson P’19 also welcomed the class Tuesday evening. Describing what Brown looks for in its applicants, Paxson said, “You know the basics — we look at your academic performance, we look at your extracurricular activities, we look at your essays, but in addition to that, we’re looking for true intellectual curiosity combined with a healthy streak of independence. … It’s hard to describe it, but I know it when I see it.” She went on to state that there are no “typical” Brown students. 
ADOCH’s three days of events allow admitted students to attend classes, stay in campus dorms and learn about student organizations on campus.
“One new thing we’ve tried is to make our students of color program at ADOCH much more inclusive, so we have a (Brown Center for Students of Color) welcome event happening at the start,” said ADOCH co-coordinator Madison Shiver ’17.
The BCSC brought together admitted students of color and current Brown undergraduates to discuss diversity and student activism on campus. Other events that showcased Brown’s racial diversity included, among many other events, the Black Student Union Block Party, the Black Student Kickback, a Minority Peer Counselor Workshop and the Biracial/Multiracial Welcome.
ADOCH also included programs dedicated to students of color interested in concentrations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, fields in which students of underrepresented backgrounds are particularly few, co-coordinator Fernando Ayala Vaca ’17 said.
A variety of student groups participated in this year’s ADOCH events at Faunce House. Student groups that cater to many identities, whether it be racial, queer or first-generation, held their own mixers. At the Faunce events, admitted students were allowed to witness the many groups at Brown that they may have interest in joining as undergraduates.
The event was particularly important for Gloria Nashed, from Orlando, Florida. “This wasn’t my first time at Brown, but ADOCH really gave me insight to what life at Brown is like,” she said. Nashed named the Christian Coffeehouse event on Tuesday night the stand-out experience for her. She described her pleasant surprise at seeing a strong Christian support group, which was her “biggest concern” despite already having committed to the University. Describing her happiness at seeing inclusivity at Brown, Nashed said, “I guess coming to ADOCH was to just confirm my decision.”
Ravi Betzig from Okemos, Michigan also attended ADOCH to confirm his decision. Planning to concentrate in both applied mathematics and economics, Betzig said he thought he would enjoy the Brown social scene. “I know that I want to do STEM, and seeing STEM programs at other schools felt like there would only be kids who are going to be looking at books for four years.” But at Brown, Betzig felt that he would have access to a wider range of perspectives.
Not all students who attended ADOCH have committed to Brown. Allie Arnold, from Georgetown, Massachusetts, said she has chosen to attend another school solely because of financial aid. While Arnold “really liked attending classes” during ADOCH, committing to the other school she was accepted to “means 15 grand less.” Arnold freely admitted that her intended concentration, literary arts, was superior at Brown, but financial constraints forced her to choose otherwise.
Shiver and Ayala Vaca said they had been planning the event since September.
“ADOCH is not just for the pre-frosh, but also the current undergrads at Brown,” Ayala Vaca said. “In order to showcase the liveliness of Brown, we need to have that reflected in the community and show that there’s a commitment to your own Brown community.””

Spring 2016 Poll Results and Methodology
by Brown Daily Herald
Apr 15, 2016
“This article is part of the series Spring 2016 Poll
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christina Paxson is handling her job as president of the University?
8.3% Strongly approve
37.8% Somewhat approve
34.2% No opinion
17.4% Somewhat disapprove
2.2% Strongly disapprove
2. How informed do you feel about events on campus?
16.7% Very informed
63.2% Somewhat informed
10.9% Somewhat uninformed
2.7% Very uninformed
3. What factors have impacted your concentration choice? (Circle all that apply.)
92.5% Passion for subject
50.8% Chances of employment after graduation
23.3% Influence of faculty memberes
18.8% Influence of peers
25.1% Influence of family
4. Do you agree or disagree that all students should be required to take a course with the Diverse Perspectives in Liberal Learning designation before receiving an undergraduate degree from Brown?
29.6% Strongly agree
28.8% Somewhat agree
19.9% No opinion
13.6% Somewhat disagree
8.1% Strongly disagree
5. The University’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan includes the opportunity to participate in diversity training programs for faculty members but does not require them to participate. Do you agree or disagree that diversity training should be mandatory for faculty members?
49.4% Strongly agree
26.3% Somewhat agree
11.2% No opinion
8.7% Somewhat disagree
4.5% Strongly disagree
6. How often do you attend Brown athletic events in their entirety or close to their entirety?
3.5% More than once a week
5.7% Once a week
11.6% Once or twice a month
21.8% Once or twice a semester
20.3% Once a year
37.1% Never
7. How often do you attend artistic events (theater, comedy, music, etc.) in their entirety or close to their entirety?
3.2% More than once a week
8.2% Once a week
30.8% Once or twice a month
38.1% Once or twice a semester
11.7% Once a year
7.9% Never
8. Do you agree or disagree that the Department of Public Safety makes you feel safe?
24.5% Strongly agree
50.9% Somewhat agree
15.8% No opinion
6.6% Somewhat disagree
2.1% Strongly disagree
9. Do you agree or disagree that DPS should continue to be armed?
22.6% Strongly agree
28.4% Somewhat agree
20.8% No opinion
18.1% Somewhat disagree
10.1% Strongly disagree
10. What resources did you use when preparing to apply to college? (Circle all that apply.)
29.4% Professional testing tutor (paid)
6.6% Student testing tutor (paid)
21.5% Testing classes (paid)
69.1% Preparation books
45.1% Free resources offered by community or school
11.8% No resources
11. Do you agree or disagree that Brown/RISD Hillel should not have sponsored a talk by Janet Mock, a transgender rights activist, because of its ties to the state of Israel?
3.9% Strongly agree
6.2% Somewhat agree
39.0% No opinion
17.6% Somewhat disagree
33.3% Strongly disagree
12. How have you met the people with whom you’ve hooked up (meaning: making out or more intimate encounters including those in relationships) during your time at Brown? (Circle all that apply.)
12.0% Dating apps
26.4% Classes
48.0% Mutual friends
18.9% Housing arrangements
50.4% Parties and other social gatherings
27.6% Extracurricular activities
9.1% Other
24.5% I have not hooked up with anyone at Brown
The results come from 937 surveys that were collected at J. Walter Wilson, the Stephen Roberts ’62 Campus Center and the Sciences Library over the course of three days — April 6-7 and April 11. The margin of error is 2.95 percent with 95 percent confidence. The margin of error for specific subsets are as follow: 3.95 percent for females, 4.53 percent for males, 5.8 percent for first-years, 5.13 percent for sophomores, 6.28 percent for juniors, 6.74 percent for seniors, 4.36 percent for students who receive financial aid and 4.03 percent for students who do not receive financial aid.
The sample of students who took the poll is demographically similar to the undergraduate student body. The sample was 43.4 percent male, 55.6 percent female and 1 percent other. First-years made up 25.9 percent, sophomores 31.9 percent, juniors 22.2 percent and seniors 20.0 percent of the poll. Of students who receive financial aid represented in the poll, 4.3 percent receive just loans, 17.8 receive grants and loans, 15.8 percent receive grants covering some costs, 8 percent receive grants covering all costs and 54.1 percent receive no loans. Varsity athletes made up 12.6 percent, while non-athletes made up 87.4 percent. Of students surveyed, 81.6 percent identify as heterosexual, 6.1 percent as gay, 7.9 percent as bisexual and 4.4 percent as other. Students reported all of the races/ethnicities they identify with — 57.9 percent of students identify as white, 29.9 percent as Asian, 11.5 percent as Hispanic, 9.1 percent as black, 1.1 percent as American Indian/Alaska Native, 1.4 percent as Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and 4 percent as other. Students also marked the concentration area(s) that they are in — 29.9 percent are in the humanities/arts, 13.1 percent in business (business, entrepreneurship and organizations and econ), 19.8 in social sciences (not including BEO or econ), 24.5 percent in life sciences and 32.3% in physical sciences. Of students polled, 14.3 percent of students are legacy students, meaning they have a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended Brown, and 85.7 percent are not. First-generation students make up 16.9 percent and non-first-gen students made up 83.1 percent of the sample.
Statistical significance was established at 0.05 level. All cross-tabulation are statistically significant.
News Editor Lauren Aratani ’18, Sports Editor Taneil Ruffin ’17 and Senior Staff Writers Kasturi Pananjady ’19, Alex Skidmore ’19, Shira Buchsbaum ’19, Suvy Qin ’19, Julianne Center ’19 and Jackson Chaiken ’19 coordinated the poll. Herald section editors, senior staff writers and other staff members conducted the poll.
Over the next several weeks, The Herald will publish a series of articles about individual poll questions. Find results of previous polls at”

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