Our View: Students funding scholarships: a realistic idea

DKS Editors

With the cost of a college education steadily increasing and state aid falling or remaining stagnant, it’s no surprise Kent State wants to increase fundraising revenue by 50 percent during the next four to five years.

Gene Finn, vice president for institutional advancement, was right when he called the move “extremely aggressive,” especially because the university isn’t just targeting alumni for its precious dollars – it’s targeting you: the student.

Kent State raised a record $28.5 million in 2008, up $1.6 million from the year before. This is just a bit higher than what Ohio University raised in 2007, and more than $10 million less than what the University of Akron raised.

Don’t get us wrong. This is all great news, and we hope we’re eventually able to raise as much money as the University of Akron and, one day, maybe even as much as some of the Ivy Leaguers. But the Campaign for Change, the university’s effort that encourages students to donate money to create a fund for endowed scholarships, is questionable at best.

Kent State’s student body may seem like an untapped resource for the university, but how much more can we give? The estimated cost to attend Kent State for a year is a little more than $21,000, which includes housing, books, transportation and, of course, tuition. That doesn’t leave much wiggle room in our pocketbooks.

The typical Kent State student isn’t the same as that of Miami University or some of the more “prestigious” universities in Ohio. Many of us are from the middle class and are paying for college mostly by ourselves with the help of loans and other financial aid. For example, 85 percent of Kent State students have some sort of financial aid, and 64 percent have some type of student loan.

So don’t leave a bad taste in our mouths by asking for more money out of the kindness of our hearts while we’re still struggling to pay for books, our rent or tuition.

With a struggling economy in Ohio, we know it’s hard to manage costs of the university. After all, it takes money to keep the university’s buildings up to par and to attract and retain quality faculty. That’s why endowed scholarships are so important to offset the costs that could possibly fall on the students.

If Kent State really wants to foster an environment that will encourage us to donate money once we graduate, this university needs to be a place in which students can take pride. Do you really expect us to be proud of a place that asks for more money when our pockets are already

empty?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.