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Bradley afloat despite faltering economy

America’s struggling economy is taking its toll on universities and students as they are feeling the effects of current economic conditions.
Despite the financial hardships many students face, Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said he is confident Bradley can maintain high academic standards and a reasonable price.
“We won’t allow the markets to change the experience students have,” he said. “We will do everything we can to maintain affordability and be responsive to students in special situations.”
Special consideration students will have access to more flexible loans and need-based scholarships in the future, Anna said.
The criteria for a special consideration student can be found at http://sfs.bradley.edu/award/sc/.
According to the New York Times, colleges across the country are considering tuition freezes to keep college within students’ financial means.
“A tuition freeze sounds like a good idea, but it seems like more of a short-term solution,” sophomore civil engineering major Danny Byrne said.
Vice President for Student Affairs Alan Galsky said a tuition freeze is not the solution for Bradley.
“At this point, making the commitment of a tuition freeze just isn’t a good idea because we don’t know what the situation will be a year or two from now,” he said.
Tuition will rise next year, but not more than normal, Anna said.
“There will be a tuition increase next year of 5 to 6 percent, which is lower than most,” he said.
Average tuition among private universities rose 5.9 percent last year, according to the New York Times, but as the article points out, that was before the markets fell.
The quality of the jobs market, which has been magnified by the economic slowdown, is another concern for students.
The national unemployment rate rose from 5 percent in April to 6.5 percent in October, an increase of 30 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The unemployment rate in Illinois is the 12th highest in the US at 6.9 percent. In this setting, students and administrators are doing what they can to conserve.
“I am trying to save my money,” senior elementary education major Cayce Byrd said.
Anna said Bradley is not currently putting any money aside
“We do not have an emergency fund,” he said.
Anna said the university’s endowment serves as a rainy day fund, despite the 20 percent decrease in that endowment.
Availability of student loans is another issue close to college students. In a statement on the university Web site, University President Joanne Glasser said “Bradley families will have full access to educational borrowing capabilities from the federal government. We are a direct loan university.”
Anna said this will keep loans available to students despite the struggling financial industry. In order to combat economic conditions, he said the university and students alike should conserve.
“If you leave a room that no one is in, it’s not a bad idea to turn the light off,” he said.
Even if students and the university act prudently, Galsky said the effects of the economic crisis will still be deeply felt.
“There isn’t a sector of the population that hasn’t been hurt,” he said. “Everything will be affected by this.”
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