As I write this letter we are experiencing another drastic swing in the stock market and the headlines are full of concern and conjecture. Being in college admissions for more than 20 years and putting my own two children through top-tier universities in the process, I can imagine what is being discussed in your homes this fall. The college selection process is stressful in the best of times and I think we can agree this is not one of those! We at Stevens would like to share with you the reasons we believe that your child should apply and, if accepted, attend our institution.
Since we cannot forecast what the economy will be like next August when your son or daughter will be entering college, it is important that all options are kept open when thinking about the future. With need- and merit-based scholarships, private universities can be more affordable than they may initially appear. Stevens provides more than $30 million in financial assistance to 93% of our students, and last year’s incoming class had an average Stevens grant and/or scholarship of nearly $20,000. Our financial aid is a part of our operating budget and therefore not heavily influenced by the fluctuations in our endowment. As a result, I can assure you that aid will be available for next year’s incoming class and will be increased proportionally with any tuition increases.
Stevens is committed to recognizing the difficulties families face in meeting college expenses. Even prior to the economic downturn we made the decision to ask our families to complete the CSS/PROFILE, which allows you to provide a more comprehensive picture of your family financial situation than the FAFSA provides, so that we can award aid in a fair and timely manner. There is a fee associated with filing this form but Stevens will provide a waiver to any family that requests one.
The ability to borrow funding for college expenses has been a major topic in the news lately. I am happy to report that Stevens is a direct loan school which means our students and parents borrow directly from the federal government, eliminating banks and other third party lenders. Another alternative that is not impacted by the tightening of the credit market is the NJCLASS Loan, which is available to all students attending college in New Jersey.
When your child graduates from Stevens in 2014 the world will be entirely different. The decisions made now regarding where to apply to college will ultimately determine how well-equipped students will be to take advantage of all the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Our graduates are consistently sought after by top companies and have starting salaries that are well above the national average, even in the most trying of economic times. I hope to have the opportunity to review your son or daughter’s application and work with you to plan how to finance a first-class education at Stevens.
Please take a look at our frequently asked questions page which outlines our competitive financial aid options, in addition to other unique benefits and opportunities that are available to Stevens’ students. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions at 800-458-5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen P. Weatherall
Vice President, University Enrollment & Administration