Tulane should offer more financial aid options to undergraduates

Brandi Doyal, Views Editor

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The following is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Tulane students will see countless flyers littering the campus advertising summer classes, but the factor of cost isn’t displayed so openly. Despite Tulane’s enthusiasm for summer school students, the amount of aid the university offers is minimal at best. Students who are looking for aid during the summer semester may find that it is next to impossible to obtain.

Summer tuition per three-credit course is $3,087 for undergraduates and $966 for School of Continuing Studies students. While these amounts are discounted from the spring and fall semesters, they are still an exorbitant amount for a lot of students. Tulane needs to offer financial aid from within the university to support students who wish to attend classes during the summer semester. Other opportunities such as the business minor, which is only available during the summer, may be out of reach for students with lower incomes.

Currently, students can apply for federal financial aid, but the amount they receive is minimal and the process is long and filled with stipulations. The full need-based Pell Grant amount any student can receive for a given year as of the 2013-14 aid year is $5,645. If a student is enrolled in both the traditional school year and the summer semester this amount would be divided among all three semesters by the student’s university. This means that at Tulane, even if a student received the full amount of the Pell Grant, it would not cover the cost of one standard three-credit course.

Despite the need for aid, Tulane does not offer institutional scholarships from within the university for non-School of Continuing Studies undergraduates. Jennifer Beck, the associate director of the office of financial aid, said that the reason behind the lack of aid is that a summer funding program has never been established and funded within the university. Tulane currently uses financial aid funds to support students who follow the traditional enrollment pattern of the fall and spring semesters.

It is time that Tulane establish a summer funding program. The university constantly raises scholarship money for students during the traditional semesters. Tulane must look beyond offering only a discounted price to summer students and must make an effort to accommodate all students.

The rising price of higher education continues to hurt students across the United States. Tulane is among many colleges that do not offer financial aid during the summer to its students. These students are taking time away from their summer that could be spent with their family to pursue education opportunities. Some students may even be turning down internship opportunities to attend the summer school at Tulane. Tulane should reward those students who decide to devote more time to their education by offering more options concerning financial aid and scholarships.

Brandi Doyal is a sophomore in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]