The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Scholarships

We needing scholarships for learning goodly

SMU says it is committed to attracting and retaining quality students.

That message, however, gets lost in the financial aid department.

With the economy on slippery footing and constantly increasing tuition costs, SMU should offer more scholarships and grants. It has not. Every student’s financial needs should be met. The university’s grasp on its wallet has tightened.

The university says it is feeling the pinch, too. It does not want to be stingy, but it must cut award money. Some students did not return this semester because the money they had received in previous years had disappeared. Financial aid counselors advised students to take out extra loans to cover their tuition and fees.

Less money equals less students.

The university isn’t helping itself by cutting awards. SMU says it has “one of the most substantial commitments in American higher education to providing merit and leadership scholarships for talented students.”

SMU offers up to 20 full-tuition scholarships. These are the President’s Scholarships. Hunt Scholarships, awarded to student leaders, provide full tuition minus the tuition amount of that student’s home state. SMU Scholar Scholarships offer up to $20,000 for four years, or $5,000 per semester. University Scholarships offer up to $12,000 for four years, or $3,000 per semester. These scholarship amounts do not change to reflect tuition increases.

Yes, the university awards scholarships, but the numbers aren’t high enough to make a dent in the tuition costs for many. And need-based claims receive little aid. Duke University meets 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated need. So does Wake Forest.

Scholarships and grants attract bright, quality students – exactly the type that SMU must enroll in order to move into the next tier to join Tulane, Duke and Wake Forest – universities it desperately wants to be on par with. In its effort to maintain its budget, the university has forgotten why it exists: the students.

Bring in less prominent speakers, cut back on magazine subscriptions and cut back on construction, but don’t cut student funds. Don’t hire any fancy new coaches – especially if nothing changes after the check clears. Give their salaries to the students. The number of scholarships available should increase, and partial scholarship amounts should rise to reflect the ever-increasing tuition rates. Students who are promised need-based grants should receive them. Parents shouldn’t have to take out extra loans they already can’t afford.

Take heed, administration.

Many students affected by the aid decline are asking: If we can raise $500 million to improve McFarlin Auditorium and build a new engineering building, why can’t we raise money for the student body?

Good question. President Turner?

More to Discover