March community meeting held

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Presentations address financial aid, MOST program

By Katie Sittig-Boyd
Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 22, marked another of the ongoing series of community meetings intended to address the concerns raised by students in the Ten Demands and in subsequent events.

This meeting was the briefest to date, lasting just under half an hour and featuring short presentations from administrators in the Student Financial Services and Admissions offices.

The presentation on financial aid centered on the rate at which students default on their loans, or are unable to pay them after leaving an institution. Simmons’ rate is 1.4 percent, on par with many Ivy League universities and significantly improved over the national average of approximately 6 percent for private colleges.

Students inquired about the percentage of individuals who were unable to complete their loan payments, and wanted to know how students of color fit into that percentage. The Financial Services spokesperson stated that it is difficult to ascertain which students are unsuccessful in their payments after they leave Simmons without graduating, since many transfer to other institutions.

Jeff McAdam, Associate Director of Admissions, spoke briefly regarding the MOST program, which is designed to draw prospective students of color to Simmons. MOST included some changes this year; students from affinity organizations sat on a panel about their experiences at Simmons.

Black Student Organization president Morgan Ward spoke regarding her own experience with the MOST program, stating that the panel gave students a good platform for airing the positive as well as the negative aspects of their time at Simmons.

The meeting was held in C-103, instead of in the LKP, where prior meetings have been held.

Although there was an opportunity for students to ask questions, the meeting ended early at just past 3:30 p.m.

The next community meeting will be held on April 12 from 3-4 p.m. in C-103.