Campus, News

Admin. seeks to quell students’ financial fears

Ian Cohen may have spent his last two-and-a-half years attending Boston University classes, eating dining hall food and living in on-campus housing, but by May 2010, he said he worries he will not be able to walk with the rest of the graduating class.

Cohen, a College of Arts and Sciences junior, said his graduation from BU does not rest on his academic performance, but on the state of the economy.

‘ ‘I just want to make sure there’s enough money to go around,’ he said.

The Office of Financial Assistance held a second open forum for students to air their concerns about the shrinking job market, tighter family budgets and BU’s subsequent affordability Monday night.

‘Some of you may be wondering if BU will continue to be a financial option for you,’ Office of Financial Assistance Executive Director Christine McGuire told the 50 attendees. ‘We want to hear from you if you and your family are feeling like you’re in financial crisis right now.’

All students, regardless of class year, should begin to seek job counseling as soon as possible given the current economic climate, Career Services Director Richard Leger said. He added that it is natural to feel apprehensive about entering the job market, because students may feel they are putting themselves ‘on the line.’

‘You have to recognize that whether it’s good economic times or bad economic times, the real issue is having a sense of what you want to do from this point on,’ he said. ‘Face the crisis as soon as you can and identify what your options might be.’

Most attendees said their main concern is whether they can afford to return to BU next year or even next semester.

‘A lot of lenders disappeared this year,’ Goldman School of Dental Medicine student Angela Moon said. ‘I’m not able to come up with the money.’

College of Engineering freshman Obehi Ukpebor said that while the economy is stable in his home country of Niger, he is worried that the U.S. economy will affect his ability to pay tuition, especially because international students are not given financial aid.

‘Things are getting worse,’ he said.

International Students and Scholars Office Associate Director James Leck said options for international students are more limited, and will most likely stay that way.

BU anticipates that it will not need to reduce the total amount of aid it has offered to students in the past, Enrollment and Student Services Vice President Laurie Pohl said. She was unable to provide any specific figures at the event.

The Board of Trustees will publish the 2010 tuition costs next semester, but ‘the pressure is to keep it down to a minimum,’ Pohl said.

Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore said President Robert Brown is challenging his administration to curb spending so that it can devote as many resources as many resources as possible to helping students.

‘We will be very watchful of spending to keep the dollar to the bottom line to help students,’ Elmore said.

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One Comment

  1. I think we are spending too much time looking at the article and not enough realizing how great of a photograph that is. I mean she perfectly captured Richard Lagers emotion and integrity towards this issue.