Tag Archive for financial aid

Wesleyan Introduces New Financial Aid Online Tool

Logo-calculatorWesleyan has just introduced MyinTuition, a new online tool that gives families a fast, user-friendly way to gauge college costs while factoring in financial aid. It will be available for students applying to the Class of 2022 and beyond.

By asking users six basic financial questions, MyinTuition is able to offer a good early estimate of the amount a family will need to contribute for one year at Wesleyan. The form takes about three minutes to complete, and provides a breakdown of the estimated costs paid by the family, work-study, and loan estimates, in addition to grant assistance provided by the institution. All financial information entered is secure, and Wesleyan does not retain any of the information provided.

“We’re excited to offer this new instrument, which we believe will make the college search and financial aid process far more user friendly,” said Wesleyan Director of Financial Aid Robert Coughlin. “We’re hopeful that it will allow more families to see that a Wesleyan education is within their reach, and bring even more socioeconomic diversity to campus.”

Developed by an economics professor, Phillip B. Levine, at Wellesley College, MyinTuition has been used at Wellesley since 2013. After a successful start, it was adopted by Williams College and the University of Virginia in 2015. Now, Wesleyan is one of 12 more schools adopting the tool.

In 2011, the federal government mandated that colleges and universities offer a “net price calculator” to provide prospective students with an estimate of the cost of enrollment and financial aid possibilities. But many are overwhelmed by the large number of questions requiring detailed answers about family finances, including information about tax returns.

“It’s daunting and intimidating especially if you are a mom or dad and this is your first child to go off to college,” said Levine. “Financial help is often available if a child qualifies to be admitted, but the sticker shock and the process scares people away.”

Martin Oversees Student Employment, Counsels Families on Financial Aid Issues

Sean Martin.

Sean Martin, senior associate director in the Financial Aid Office, says most students work an average of five to 10 hours per week. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

This year, The Wesleyan Connection will feature conversations with students who perform important work all over campus, and out in the Middletown community. In this issue, we speak with Sean Martin, senior associate director in the Financial Aid Office, who oversees student employment.

Q: Sean, please tell us about your role as senior associate director in the Financial Aid Office.

A: I’ve been working in the Financial Aid Office at Wesleyan for going on 10 years, and my responsibilities there have expanded over time. One aspect of my job is overseeing all facets of student employment. I spend a good amount of my time reading files of applicants and current students, and counseling students and families about financial aid issues. I also do various other things, including serving as liaison to Athletics and ITS.

Q: How many students have jobs at Wesleyan?

A: Students can work on campus whether they are eligible for work-study funding or not. Approximately 1,500 students work on-campus each year, roughly 1,100 of whom are work-study eligible students.

Q: How many hours do students typically work each week?

A: Most positions require students to commit to an average of five to 10 hours per week.

Trustees Approve 4.5% Increase in Student Charges; Financial Aid to Increase 11%

Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees voted on Feb. 25 to increase tuition and residential comprehensive fees by 4.5 percent for the 2012-13 academic year.

Continuing its commitment to a strong financial aid program, Wesleyan will increase its budget for aid by 11 percent over this year’s expenditures. Through grants and loans, Wesleyan meets the full demonstrated need of all students eligible for financial aid.

Tuition will be $45,358 for all students in 2012-2013. For freshman and sophomores, the residential comprehensive fee will be $12,574. For juniors and seniors, the fee will be $14,294. The higher residential comprehensive fee for juniors and seniors reflects the higher cost of the options available to them. Juniors and seniors have access to apartments and houses in addition to residence hall rooms. They also have greater flexibility in dining options.

“Wesleyan has continued to reduce annual expenses and operate as efficiently as possible,” says President Michael S. Roth. “As in the past, we are raising student charges by no more than required to sustain the high-quality liberal arts education that distinguishes Wesleyan. At the same time, we recognize that the cost of a Wesleyan education is a concern for many families, and we are looking hard at ways to make it more affordable.”

Applications to Wesleyan rose by 4.6 percent this year to a total 10,500 — a 47 percent increase since 2008 —  underscoring Wesleyan’s strong reputation and its appeal to top students across the country and around the world.

President Roth and Professor Weil Give to Financial Aid

President Michael S. Roth and Professor Kari Weil have made a $100,000 gift to Wesleyan in support of endowment for financial aid.

In announcing the gift, Joshua Boger ’73, chair of Wesleyan’s board of trustees, said:  “I can’t thank Michael and Kari enough for their generosity. Their gift represents the kind of ‘stretch gift’ that we are frequently soliciting from other alumni and their families, and I hope that all members of the Wesleyan community will follow their lead in making Wesleyan a philanthropic priority. Their support of financial aid underscores Michael’s and Kari’s superb leadership and dedication to Wesleyan’s success.”

Scholarship endowment is Wesleyan’s highest fundraising priority. Wesleyan has long sought to provide access to students regardless of their financial means.  In 2011–12, Wesleyan will spend $47 million on financial aid.

Soon after he came to Wesleyan in 2007, President Roth established a policy of eliminating loans in favor of outright grants for most students with a family income below $40,000. The policy also reduced the amount of loans required in all final aid packages by about 35 percent. This effort and all of Wesleyan’s financial aid grants, including a special scholarship program for veterans, are supported by gifts from alumni, parents and friends.

“Wesleyan’s deep and long-standing commitment to supporting financial aid reflects our belief that we should seek out the best students regardless of what their families can afford,” says President Roth. “The result is a campus community based on equality and freedom, where differences emerge from talent, ambition and creativity.”

Gudvangen Featured in Chronicle’s “Newly Minted”

John Gudvangen

John Gudvangen, Wesleyan’s new director of financial aid, is featured in the Sept. 28 Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Newly Minted” section.

Despite being apart from his family (in Colorado) Mr. Gudvangen is excited to begin his new adventure in Connecticut.

“I knew all along that I was taking a leap to leave my very great life and move off to someplace 1,900 miles away,” he says in the article, “but for me and my family, even though we’re apart, it’s a great life event.”

After being on one campus for more than 20 years, Gudvangen is eager to get to know his new one.

“I’m in the business of walking around right now,” he says in the article. “I could certainly sit here in my office and write people e-mails and call them, or not even do that, but it’s helpful to walk around and say: ‘Hi, I’m John.’”

The story is online here.

 

Martin Acting Director of Financial Aid

Sean Martin is serving as acting director of Financial Aid. Martin joined the Wesleyan staff in the financial aid office in December 2004 and has been associate director since July. He is managing the day-to-day operations and supervising the office while working closely with the staff in Student Accounts.

Huffington Family, Foundation Give $5M to COE, Financial Aid

Terry Huffington P'11, P'14, her family, and the Huffington Foundation have given Wesleyan $5 million to support a College of the Environment endowed chair and endowed scholarships.

Wesleyan has received gifts totaling $5 million from Terry Huffington, her family and the Huffington Foundation to fund an endowed faculty chair in the College of the Environment and endowed scholarships.

The Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the College of the Environment, created with a $3 million gift from the Foundation, will benefit the nascent College, devoted to the development of environmental knowledge and the exploration of innovative approaches to environmental problems.

A separate $2 million gift establishes endowed scholarships that will support Wesleyan’s need-blind financial aid program.

“Through these very generous gifts, Terry Huffington, her family and the Huffington Foundation have contributed to our highest priorities—curricular innovation and access to a Wesleyan education,” says Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth. “Their support helps Wesleyan maintain its leadership position in liberal arts education and secure its future with a stronger endowment. I am deeply grateful.”

Ms. Huffington P’11, P’14, of Houston, Texas, says that access to education has always been a family priority.

“I was brought up with the mantra that the most important thing you could do for people is to give them an opportunity to get an education. We welcome the opportunity to support Wesleyan’s efforts to enroll students regardless of their economic circumstances,” she says.

The first holder of the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair will be Gary Yohe, a Wesleyan professor of economics renowned for his work on global climate issues. He is a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that was awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also a member of the standing Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gary Yohe will hold the first Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the College of the Environment.

“We are delighted that Dr. Yohe is to be named to the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in the College of the Environment,” says Ms. Huffington. “It is a privilege to support a researcher and educator of his caliber in an area of study that is of such vital importance to our global community.”

The College of the Environment is an interdisciplinary initiative that draws faculty from 18 departments or programs at Wesleyan. Among its innovative features is a think tank, which brings together faculty, prominent scholars from other institutions, and students to produce scholarly works intended to influence thinking and action on environmental issues.

Ms. Huffington, a former geologist, has a long-standing interest in stewardship of energy supplies and achieving a decreased reliance on hydrocarbon fuels. Her interest led her to develop Elkstone Farm in Steamboat Springs, Colo., which features a permaculture greenhouse designed to grow organic produce year-round in a sustainable, energy-efficient manner.

Financial Aid Apps for Summer Session Due March 5

From left, Mary Kelly, associate director for finance and administrative services for Continuing Studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program; James Gardner '13; Wesleyan President Michael Roth; Sheryl Culotta, director of Continuing Studies and GLSP; and Jen Curran, assistant director of admissions and outreach for GLSP, celebrated Wesleyan's first Summer Session registration March 4 in Usdan University Center. Wesleyan is offering an intensive Summer Session in which students can complete semester-long courses in five weeks. Classes begin June 7.

From left, Mary Kelly, associate director for finance and administrative services for Continuing Studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program; James Gardner '13; Wesleyan President Michael Roth; Sheryl Culotta, director of Continuing Studies and GLSP; and Jen Curran, assistant director of admissions and outreach for GLSP, celebrated Wesleyan's first Summer Session registration March 4 in Usdan University Center. Wesleyan is offering an intensive Summer Session in which students can complete semester-long courses in five weeks. Classes begin June 7.

Students applying for financial aid for Summer Session courses must have their course registrations and applications in by Friday, March 5. Classes begin June 7 and last five weeks.

“With Wesleyan’s Summer Session, students can experience the excitement and challenge of intensive, accelerated study, register for popular courses with lower student to faculty ratios, and discover interesting new upper-level courses,” says Summer Session coordinator Sheryl Culotta, director of Continuing Studies and the Graduate Liberal Studies Program. “This also allows students to have more options during the school year, and more time to get involved in performances, sports, or other activities.”

President Roth handed out celebratory cake and Summer Session informational brochures to students during the lunch hour.

President Roth handed out celebratory cake and Summer Session informational brochures to students during the lunch hour.

To celebrate the inaugural  Summer Session, Wesleyan President Michael Roth handed out brochures and cake during the lunch hour on Thursday, March 4 in Usdan University Center. Classes this summer include digital photography, economy of oil, Chinese music and theater, organic chemistry, economic theory, financial analysis, writing nonfiction, French composition, international politics, calculus, physics, American Sign Language, to name a few.

Tuition is $2,500 per course credit, of which $500 must be paid during registration. Housing and dining is an additional $2,135.  Some classes may be canceled if enrollment is too low. Current enrollments are not yet reflected in the “Seats Available” number in each course description.

The registration form is available on the Summer Session website and in the e-portfolio. Students should download the form, complete it by including all necessary approval signatures, and submit the form with the $500 deposit (or with the financial aid form by March 5, if applying for aid) to the Summer Session office at 284 High Street. For more information call 860-685-2900 or e-mail to summer@wesleyan.edu.

More information on the Summer Session was published in a November 2009 Wesleyan Connection article:  http://newsletter.blogs.wesleyan.edu/2009/11/30/25-courses-offered-for-2010-summer-session/