Jerry May, the University’s vice president for development, spoke about how his office is working to raise money to help students deal with the burden of rising tuition at a meeting of the leading faculty governing body yesterday.

Addressing a question from Gina Poe, vice-chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, May said that though his office has not been pressured to pay any of the University’s operating costs, development officials have been working with the administration to prevent additional increases in tuition.

“We’ve been cognizant of the need to try to figure out how to reduce the pressure on raising tuition,” May said.

May added that his office is trying to do this through raising more money for need-based scholarships. May also said that with every tuition increase, development officials raise more scholarship money to offset the financial burden for some students.

Speaking about donor contributions to scholarships, May said donors often want to support students hailing from their hometown or country, which often leads to some students being overlooked in the scholarship process.

Associate Prof. of Architecture Mojtaba Navvab, who is also a SACUA member, expressed concern that international students aren’t receiving as much scholarship money as native students and therefore do not have the same opportunities in the workplace.

May said there is a gap of at least $11,000 in aid between native students and international students.

However, May also noted in his talk that his office recently created a scholarship fund to help support students studying abroad and to fund international students admitted to the University.

Ed Rothman, SACUA chair and professor of statistics, also raised a question about how to garner more money from faculty for an undergraduate scholarship offered to one student that is supported almost entirely through faculty contributions.

May said that though faculty collectively contributed the largest amount of money that they ever have in the last fundraising campaign, he recognizes that faculty may wish to contribute to their own departments or areas of interest rather than to the undergraduate scholarship. May said his office does not wish to “twist anyone’s arm” when it comes to donations.

At the meeting, University Provost Phil Hanlon continued the discussion of the University’s efforts to help make the University more affordable for students, compared to tuition rates at peer institutions.

Looking at need-based financial aid, Hanlon said the University has been working to improve “self-help” financial aid or loans and work-study options offered to in-state students.

With this measure, Hanlon said he feels the University has reduced tuition costs of the in-state students but could still offer better financial aid options for the rest of the students.

“I think that we would like to do better, compared to some of our peer competitors, particularly for non-resident students and international students,” Hanlon said.

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