Student, administrators reflect on Notre Dame’s financial accessibility

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the second part in a series exploring the experiences of low socioeconomic students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.When sophomore Eric Kim was ranking colleges for his QuestBridge application, he added Notre Dame because he applied to “any school that had a business program.” It wasn’t until after he was matched with the University that he began to understand the campus culture.“When I applied, it didn’t hit that this was a Catholic institution; it didn’t hit that we are financially wealthy; it didn’t hit that this was a white-dominated university,” he said. “I lived in an area that was 50 percent Asian, so it was a culture shock coming here. It is a culture shock for many people who live in California who are low-income, minority and low socio-economic status.”As the QuestBridge liaison for the Quest Chapter of Notre Dame, Kim works with many low-income students who might be having similar experiences and helps them find resources on campus. The Office of Student EnrichmentOne resource Kim said he and his executive board “push as available” is the Office of Student Enrichment. The office’s assistant director, Consuela Wilson, said they were created almost three years ago to “formalize” what used to be called the Rector Fund and provide financial resources and programming to first-generation and low-income students. “As the need [for resources] grew, more people were trying to tap into the Rector Fund,” she said. “It seemed to need more than that one person in Student Affairs. But also, having an office such as this is a direction that more and more schools are moving into: having dedicated personnel in resources and programming for first-generation or low-income students.” Wilson said there are two main funds available: the Experience Fund, which is used for club dues, seminars, retreats, football tickets and the like; and the Opportunity Fund, which assists with funds for laptops, winter clothing, professional attire and travel for emergency purposes. There are also programs to help bring parents and families to campus for both Junior Parents’ Weekend and Commencement. “We don’t want a lack of funding to keep a student from having the type of experience they would like to have here,” Wilson said. While rectors have remained an important reference point even after the change in name, Wilson said “word of mouth has been really crucial” to informing students of the resources available. “Word of mouth, especially here at Notre Dame, goes really, really quickly,” she said. “We’ve utilized some of the different classes — the junior class, the senior class — to get the word out about the assistance programs for JPW and Commencement. Often the clubs will know, so if there are members of a club who are having trouble paying their dues, often those treasurers will know and will make them aware of that.”Income disparityKim said he personally believes Notre Dame generally does a “good job” and that he has been “appreciative” of the efforts in the Office of Admissions to recruit more low-income students, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas to improve. “I really am thankful being here at Notre Dame,” he said. “I’m really thankful for financial aid, really thankful for admissions counselors who have reached out to me, who have helped me through this whole process, my friends here, the professors here — everyone at this University I’m really thankful for. But of course, no matter what school you go to, there will be flaws to look into. So it’s a matter of us taking action towards it.”Describing his home in southern California, Kim said he didn’t “really face much income disparity.” “Coming here, you do see some divide between income disparities,” he said. “Not that students flaunt their wealth, but you see that these students are privileged and sometimes they don’t understand people of low socioeconomic status and their struggles, and they don’t need to understand that. “It’s one thing that is kind of controversial, I would say: How much help can we get without being stigmatized?”Kim tried to study abroad in Spain during the summer but, as financial aid does not transfer to the summer, he was unable to do so. “I had this encounter with a person who asked me if I’m studying abroad,” he said. “And I said, ‘No, I can’t afford it.’ And she was saying, ‘But, there’s this scholarship, the SLA grant.’ And I said, ‘That’s only $5,500 of the $9,000 dollars you have to pay.’ And she said, ‘That’s still $5,500.’ And I’m like, ‘Even $1,000, itself, I can’t afford.’”Minor comments can make it clear students are “oblivious” to the experiences of some of their classmates, Kim said. “If you’re not living that lifestyle, you don’t need to know,” he said. “You don’t want to know.” Looking forwardDon Bishop, associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment, has spent the last few years looking at how to recruit and admit more students from low-income backgrounds, raising the percentage of Pell Grant recipients at Notre Dame from 8 percent to 11 percent between 2001 and 2014.Notre Dame is not the only school making the push to enroll more low-income students. Thirty elite colleges — including Princeton, Vanderbilt and the University of Michigan — banded together over a year ago with the goal of enrolling an additional 50,000 low- and moderate-income students at top institutions by 2025. “Our goal is to not only keep the students that we have, we want to grow in the number of low income just like a fair number of our peers are doing right now,” Bishop said. “ … We’re seeing the Princetons and some of the others, most of them are at between 15 and 20 some-odd percent Pell. So, when can Notre Dame get there, and why isn’t Notre Dame there now?“I do think that that assurance campaign that Stanford or Northwestern [has], Notre Dame needs to develop that and that’s in front of us. We haven’t accomplished that yet. And part of it, we were trying to see how much we could raise in fundraising, so that if we’re going to do an assurance program, can we fund it?”When the Office of Student Enrichment was created, they really wanted to “formalize the financial assistance part first,” Wilson said. Looking forward, though, she said more focus is being put on creating programming opportunities beyond the leadership development and budgeting workshops they currently offer. “Programming is — and will be — a really big part of what we feel like we are are charged to do in helping students with [culture shock],” she said. “Not just preparing, but giving them a space to talk about that with people who may understand or may have that shared experience.”Expanding the financial resources available is also in the talks, Wilson said. “Right now, we don’t assist with anything that would be over the summer. We only assist with asks that are during the year,” she said. “ … I think it’s because we needed to wait and see how our funding stretched for these first couple of years with students for that academic year, before we made that jump. So, that’s something we’re in the talks about. That’s one thing that I can see will be a challenge of ours. Not to say that it’s not doable, but it’s a challenge of ours.” Access to financial and social resources on campus is taken into consideration before students are even on campus. Bishop said the hardest part of his job was figuring out how to strike the right balance when deciding which students who might be more of a “risk” should be admitted.“Part of my responsibility as a University administrator in charge of enrollment and admissions is, do I put them in that situation or not?” he said. “Where’s the ethical line for Notre Dame to put a student into a level of opportunity or to sit there and say, ‘Are we exploiting this student?’ Where it feels good to put them in our statistics, but how do they feel about being here? We have to be honorable about that, and caring.”Kim said he’s not sure how much the University will — or even can — stand up to “what is going on in our culture.” “It’s also hard for us to make any changes because no one wants to talk about it,” he said. “And because no one wants to talk about it, it’s hard to find anything to change, when no one knows what there’s to change. So that’s why I’m trying to voice my opinions. Because who will?”Tags: financial aid, financial resources, income inequality, low-income students, Office of Student Enrichmentlast_img read more

"Student, administrators reflect on Notre Dame’s financial accessibility"

Bet9ja Boosts Power-lifting as Waheed Wins in USA

first_imgAs part of it’s commitment towards developing other sports, top sports betting company, Bet9ja, recently sponsored Kareem Waheed (A.K.A ‘Body’) to the United States Amateur Athletes Championships where he came tops.According to a statement by Bet9ja, the company decided to sponsor the power-lifter as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility and to also develop other sports. “Power-lifting has been in the doldrums in Nigeria, but we don’t want it to suffer the same fate as the other individual sports, hence we sponsored Waheed to the competition,” disclosed the Brands and Communications Manager, Tunji Mesh.He said that judging by Waheed’s performance, “a new breathe of life has taken place, thanks to the power-lifter who has put Nigeria on the global map through his exploits in the US. We are encouraged to do more,” the statement read.The Lagos-born athlete recently returned from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Championship in the United States of America where he beat all other competitors to finish of his weight category.“We believe his exploits could inspire other athletes and at the same time popularise the sport in the country,” concludes the Bet9ja statement.‘Body’ as he’s fondly called had surprised all comers at the AAU power-lifting championship in September in Las Vegas, US which was his second this year. He was in the ‘Sin City’ in April where he also led Nigeria to victory.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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NBA wrap: Spurs one Sacramento loss away from postseason berth

first_img Mark Cuban on expectations for Kristaps Porzingis: ‘To f—ing crush it’ While they didn’t get to the playoffs this season, if they continue to build on what they accomplished this year, the postseason will be there for the taking soon.Studs of the NightJoel Embiid scored 14 of Philadelphia’s first 19 points and 39 on the night to go with 13 rebounds and six assists in the 76ers’ 123-110 win over the Nets.Heat point guard Goran Dragic tallied his first triple-double of the season with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in Miami’s 105-99 win over Dallas.Bucks forward Khris Middleton scored 39 points and added nine rebounds in Milwaukee’s 128-118 win over the Clippers.James Harden scored 38 points and added six rebounds and six assists in Houston’s 112-85 drubbing of the Nuggets. One loss from the Kings and their playoff hopes are dashed.It was a great run for this young Sacramento team, but it’s over. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, though. The team has a new young leader at point guard in De’Aaron Fox, a more-than-capable scorer in Buddy Hield, a solid rookie in Marvin Bagley III and a Sixth Man of the Year candidate in Bogdan Bogdanovic. Related News The Western Conference playoff teams are just about set.After San Antonio’s 116-110 win over the Cavaliers and the Kings’ 121-118 loss to the Pelicans on Thursday, the Spurs (44-32) are 6 1/2 games up on Sacramento (37-38), which has seven games left to play. Dud of the NightKnicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. had more turnovers (2) than assists (1) while shooting 2 of 11 from the floor and scoring seven points in a 117-92 loss to the Raptors.HighlightThere is nothing to hate about this clip for Pistons fans as the team tallied two blocks and a nice save on the defensive end and added some nice passing which led to a 3-pointer at the other end in a 115-98 win over the Magic.So much goodness in one clip.#PistonsNow powered by @RocketFiber— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) March 28, 2019What’s NextHornets (35-39) at Lakers (33-42) 10:30 p.m. ET — The Hornets can move within one game of a playoff spot in the East with a win on Friday. The Nets, Magic, Heat and Pistons are all off, so Charlotte makes progress with a win no matter what with eight games left to play.last_img read more

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Amel Tuka brilliant in Beijing: First Place in the Semifinals

first_imgAmel Tuka won the semi-final race at 800 meters, thereby securing himself a place in the World Cup finals in Beijing.Our best athlete on 800 meters, and the best athlete in the world for 2015 as well, Amel Tuka, won in the semi-final race with a time of 1: 44.84, thus qualifying for the finals where he will meet the most reputable athletes of the world at 800 meters.Tuka kept his tempo during the whole race, and as we are already used to, brought the race to its end in a spectacular way when he came from 7th position to 1st place, thus securing himself a placement in the final race, which is scheduled for the 25th of August.Kszczot and Kipketer qualified for the finals in the first group, in the second group Rudisha and Balla, while in the third group, besides Tuka, Rotich qualified for the finals as well. However, in the qualifying race for the finals, Amel Tuka achieved the best result among all opponents from all of the groups, and he will meet all of them in the final race. (Source: read more

"Amel Tuka brilliant in Beijing: First Place in the Semifinals"