This post was written by freshman Lyndsey Wajert, a Hatchet columnist.
This past October, GW was confronted with the question of “now what?” after college administrators realized the national economic crisis would affect fundraising, capital expenditures, endowment, tuition and most significantly, students. However, a decision by the Board of Trustees to increase financial aid means GW finally has at least part of an answer.
On Thursday morning, members of GW’s Board of Trustees approved a $13 million increase for financial aid, marking a significant – and commendable – step by the University to ease the sting of the crisis for GW students and their families.
After months of deliberation, with various aid levels debated by school administrators, the Hatchet reports that Board members approved the specific amount, as well as a 3 percent tuition increase.
Yet the necessary tuition hike will only affect incoming students, and the average increase for other private schools is a reported 6 percent. As exemplified by the relatively low increase in tuition and the high increase in aid, GW seems willing to overlook the “bottom line” if students are benefiting in the process.
I noted in a previous Opinions piece that by increasing financial aid, the University offers a positive rejoinder to its costly reputation. Current students may feel more financially secure, and prospective students will seriously and positively consider the merits of a school that so avidly tries to protect its Colonials.
Therefore, GW’s laudable effort should not be ignored. Many institutions of higher education are unable or unwilling to provide their students with more aid money, as their own financial situations suffer because of the recession.
Nonetheless, GW seems cognizant of the circumstances, and is thankfully making good on its promises to provide a positive answer – in the form of more aid – to the question of “now what?”