An overview of Quinnipiac’s economic diversity – the Quinnipiac Chronicle

With tuition fees increasing with each academic year, students at Quinnipiac University have different ways of financing their education, from having their parents paid for it to taking out federal loans and receiving Pell Grants. The trend reflects the economic diversity in Quinnipiac.

“Compared to other surrounding schools and their tuition fees, I would say the rate at QU is incredibly high,” said Mairead Reilly, a freshman psychology student. “The fact that it is steadily increasing is concerning, given that it is already unaffordable for many potential students.”

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According to data from the United States Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Quinnipiac tuition and tuition fees for freshmen increased by 3% between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years.

it will increase 1.15% for the next academic year, which will result in direct costs for incoming freshmen of $ 66,960.

Room and meal costs also increased by 3.3% between 2019-2020 and 2020-21, and they will increase by 1.62% over the next academic year.

Second-year English major Kerry Deasy said tuition fees are high, unlike the quality of life the university offers its students on campus.

“Often times tuition is more associated with the educational aspect of college than anything else when in reality you are paying for the whole life experience and each part should give you the ‘feel like you’re getting your money’s worth it,’ Deasy said.

With the high cost to attend Quinnipiac, Reilly said it comes with stereotypes that college is for wealthy and elite kids.

Director of Financial Aid Victoria Hampton said students’ financial needs are not considered during the admissions process.

Information on public financial aid suggests how the university is doing in terms of economic diversity.

Data from the US Department of Education shows that 97.8% of students have received different types of scholarships or grants, and 66% of students took out federal student loans.

“I get (a) a grant and scholarship from QU every year, but I pay the rest of the tuition only in the form of loans,” said Bryanna Clement, a junior chemistry major.

While many have taken out loans on their own, the College Scorecard revealed that 10 to 15% of students have asked their parents to borrow money for them through the federal Parent Plus loan.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed data from the US Department of Education and class Quinnipiac twelfth in the country for universities that leave parents with the most college loan debt averaging $ 78,439.

However, this does not mean that all parents will bear the financial burden of their students.

“My parents took out a loan more for me but aren’t (paying) a single penny, I’ll just pay them in the future to pay off the loan,” said Sydney Nelson, a health sciences student from first year. major studies.

The NCES also revealed that only 16.8% of Quinnipiac students received Pell Scholarships, federal scholarships for students who demonstrate financial difficulty, with an average of $ 4,442.

According to College finances, students with a family income of less than $ 60,000 per year are eligible for Pell scholarships from certain funding up to the maximum amount.

Of Connecticut’s 15 private, four-year undergraduate nonprofit universities, Quinnipiac ranks 12th in percentage of Pell grant recipients. Goodwin University is the highest at 81.7% and Fairfield University is the lowest at 10.7%.

Reilly was one of 16.8% of Quinnipiac students who received Pell scholarships. She said she couldn’t come to Quinnipiac without these scholarships and others from the university.

“My financial history is usually paycheck to paycheck,” Reilly said. “My mom has been unemployed since the initial shutdown (COVID-19) and my dad is a seasonal worker, which means he’s employed in the spring and summer.”

She said the grants she received will likely cover the majority of her first two years, but after that she plans to take out loans.

“I am more than worried,” Reilly said. “I got involved in QU because I was offered excellent financial assistance, but I’m concerned that my financial problems will inevitably interfere with my academic performance.”

Considering the tuition rate, Deasy assumed that prior to coming to Quinnipiac, it was not the most economically diverse university. According to the New York Times, a to study by the Equality of Opportunity Project based on millions of anonymous tax records suggests a similar conclusion.

The study indicates that the median income of families of Quinnipiac students is $ 147,900. According to the study, 66% of students belonged to the richest 20% in the country, while 46% belonged to the top 10%, 28% to the top 5% and 6.8% to the top 1%.

Only 2% of students were in the bottom 20%, which is the lowest rate among Connecticut universities. According to the study, Quinnipiac ranks 2,362 out of 2,395 universities in terms of the proportion of students whose families earn less than $ 20,000 per year.

“I think the lack of economic diversity on campus has created a difficult barrier for (potential) students of different economic status, as they can feel intimidated by stereotypes and by students on campus who can also perpetuate those stereotypes. “said Deasy.

She also said it would create a difficult cycle and make increasing economic diversity on campus nearly impossible.

Hampton said the data presented by The New York Times was not up to date.

“They represent a cohort of students who entered in 2009,” said Hampton. “Our economic diversity has improved by almost seven percentage points since then.”

She also described Quinnipiac’s economic diversity as “evolving” as the university constantly reassesses its aid program to help students with all levels of financial need.

According to the university strategic plan, financial aid to students from economically marginalized communities is one of the plans to create an inclusive community.

Although Reilly said she had a good experience with college financial aid, she said she couldn’t say the same about other families.

“Because the tuition fees are so high, other low-income students who are struggling academically may not be offered the same help,” Reilly said.

However, Hampton said the university offers in-depth financial aid and financial aid counseling to all families before and after admission.

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