By Courtney Daniel
“We aren’t in the money-making business, we are in the education business,” said James Chapman, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs during Tuesday night’s Tuition Forum. The forum was open to all students to inquire about things from the rising tuition to what is done with the money from a panel.
With a $12.7 billion financial aid cut from the government and tuition rising, Eastern is trying to do its part to help keep college affordable.
The university has increased financial aid by nearly $4 million from last year to this year.
EJ Keeley, the associate vice president for Enrollment Management and executive director for Institutional Effectiveness, said, “For Feds, what’s hot is debt. What’s not is giving. What’s hot at Eastern is giving you money.”
However, some students are still left wondering, where is all that money going?
Diba Thakali, an international student and Student Government Association senator, asked about the rising tuition for international students and the low availability of scholarships.
“When I came in 2002 tuition was $4,000 and it is now over $6,000,” Thakali said. International students are not qualified for any kind of scholarships except for one international scholarship worth about $1,000. International students are also not allowed to work off campus.
“They talk about diversity, but nothing ever happens,” Thakali said.
Another complaint some students had was over the housing situation. From roach complaints to roofs falling in, there are many things students wish were improved.
“It’s expensive to build new residence halls. The university tries to upgrade, but sometimes it’s just better to start from scratch,” President Glasser said. “I would love to see more apartment-type … housing with a place to cook and a place to chill out.”
However it’s not the buildings that President Glasser thinks makes a University. “It’s the faculty that determine the quality of an institution.”
Vice President for Financial Affairs Debbie Newsom agrees that faculty is an integral part of a college.
“It’s important to retain and recruit faculty,” Newsom said. Faculty received a 3.5 percent cost of living increase this year, the highest pay increase faculty members have received in awhile.
Eastern recently started a capital campaign to raise money through alumni donations.
“We would love to see $40 or $50 million,” Glasser said.
Western started a similar plan with much success, raising around $100 million in private funding.
“We are realizing more and more that the days of being a state-supported institution is a thing of the past,” Glasser said.
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