Volume 95, Issue 78
Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Western vows to keep promise
Finances will not be a barrier
By Joel Brown
A promise is a promise.
So says Western's administration, who maintain they will keep a promise that no undergraduate student will be unable to attend school due to insurmountable financial obstacles.
In response to tuition increase recommendations made last week, VP-academic Greg Moran has faced much scrutiny over whether the school will be able to maintain its pledge. While he believes "extreme" cases may arise where the school cannot reasonably fulfill it's commitment, Moran said the school does not plan on changing its overall tune.
The university made the promise official last fall as part of the Strategic Plan.
Section 7.1 of the plan states the following:
"Our university community will maintain the commitment of Western's Financial Aid Office that no qualified student will be unable to attend Western or will be required to withdraw from any academic program at Western for financial reasons."
"It'll be a year-to-year challenge, but it's a challenge we'll continue to try to meet," Moran said, adding since the promise was made, no student to his knowledge has had to drop out due to financial need. "For the foreseeable future I don't see things changing.
"It'll take a great deal of money to accomplish this, but, as long as we administer our funds carefully and to the right students at the right time, we should be all right," he said.
University Students' Council VP-education Erin McCloskey said students need to make sure administration lives up to its promise.
"They put it in legal terms and brought it out into the public sphere," she said. "If they're not able to deliver, we'll call them on it."
In the meantime, McCloskey said the school's financial aid office is doing a "phenomenal" job in terms of accommodating students.
Sabrina Anzini, VP-university affairs for the Honours Business Administration Students' Council, said not enough students have been made aware of the promise.
"We've surveyed the [first-year] HBA class and have confirmed that financial issues are a major concern for our students," she said.
While most undergraduate programs will face a tuition increase, Moran said Western will continue to set aside at least 30 per cent of collected tuition fees for financial aid.
"It's a tax for those who can better afford a university education," Moran said.
Copyright © The Gazette 2002