Report: more work, less aid

University students get less family help than students at other schools

Hayley Odom

University students work more and expect less assistance than other students, according to a report presented to the Board of Regents on Thursday.

A regents’ committee discussed a report concerning financial challenges University students face and the University’s response to them.

The report highlights the costs of higher education, how students finance their schooling and what financial resources are available.

Tuition has increased 140 percent since the 1992-93 academic year, according to the report.

Most students rely on a combination of parental support, loans and work to fund their education.

Although most University undergraduates rely on family support, they expect less assistance than students from other universities, according to the report.

This assistance typically declines from University students’ first to senior year as they tend to work more.

The report illustrates a unique trend that University students are more reluctant to take loans out than other students and work more than those at comparable institutions. They also worked more during high school.

“My instinct says that parents view Minnesota’s vibrant economy as an opportunity for students to work during college,” Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart said.

“I don’t know that Minnesota students are that different from other students. It might just be that our students share more of an investment (in their education) than students elsewhere,” Rinehart said.

However, University students work slightly less than they have in the past.

“This could be in response to the graduation retention emphasis requiring full-time students to take 13 credits,” Rinehart said.

Some University students find that their jobs distract from their education.

Sophomore Ashley Penney works 16 hours per week doing data entry at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis and finds it difficult to balance work, classes and everyday life.

“I don’t have enough time for my homework and my grades suffer because I’m tired and I don’t have time between work and school,” she said.

Penney said she is irritated with tuition increases because she finds some University projects wasteful.

“(Tuition increases) needs to stop,” she said. “Forget about beautifying the campus. We’re here to go to school.”

Derek Dalasta agrees. As a senior, he takes 19 credits while working 25 hours a week as a waiter at Annie’s Parlour.

“People don’t realize that being a student is a full-time job, too. I’m trying to graduate as fast as I can because I’m paying more for the same education I got four years ago,” he said.

The report shows how the University is trying to help students finance tuition and manage money. These resources include debt management presentations, a personal and family financial management principles course, and exit interviews for students receiving federal loans. The University is also creating a one-credit online course on financial education.