UA: Reinstate scholarship refund checks
  • Petitioning The University of Akron

This petition will be delivered to:

The University of Akron
Executive Vice President for Student Success
Jim Tressel
President
Luis Proenza

UA: Reinstate scholarship refund checks

    1. Brianne Angell
    2. Petition by

      Brianne Angell

      Akron, OH

We, the undersigned, petition The University of Akron to reverse its decision to no longer give scholarship refund checks. The university promised a specific amount of money to each student who receives a scholarship, yet is now failing to follow through.

The terms of scholarships have been changed, without directly notifying the students. UA has failed to consider the fact that students most likely have already planned budgets for next year, in addition to ignoring other negative consequences.  We demand that The University of Akron take these points into consideration and reinstate scholarship refund checks.

 

MORE INFO:

 

The official statement, as mentioned very briefly in a Zipmail email in February:

"Undergraduate student scholarship awards from the University or its colleges are applied toward expenses reflected on your UA bill. There will be no refunds of scholarship dollars that exceed the cost of tuition, fees and on-campus room and board."

The University of Akron has recently made the decision to revoke student refund checks, meaning that students will no longer receive "extra" scholarship money beyond these designated amounts.

 

The following points are several negative consequences of the scholarship policy change:

·       Students who live off-campus may no longer be able to afford rent/bills

·       UA expects that students will take advantage of on-campus housing in order to use the scholarship money, but this is not possible for students who have already signed a lease for off-campus housing.

·       Many students chose to attend The University of Akron because of the scholarships they were told they would receive.  Now that they will not receive the full amount, what is keeping them from attending a different university?

·       Most students who receive scholarships, especially academic merit-based ones, worked extremely hard in high school to be able to qualify for those scholarships.  They qualified, they were promised an amount, and they continue to work hard in order to maintain those scholarships.  Now that they may not receive that full amount, they will be asking themselves, “Was all my hard work in vain?”

 

UA claims to value its students and want to increase student retention – but its actions with regard to this situation say the opposite. 

If the university refuses to address this issue, I know what I will say in 5 or 10 years when they ask me to donate money – you already took it.

For all of these reasons and many more, we believe that students deserve to receive the money that was promised to them.

 

 So, to those in leadership positions at The University of Akron – push for change.  Reinstate scholarship refund checks. Allow us to use scholarship money to pay for off-campus housing, bills, groceries, gas, textbooks, and other expenses. Education is valuable – don’t take opportunities away from us.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Akron Beacon Article

      Brianne Angell
      Petition Organizer

      Hello everyone!
      Carol Biliczky at the Akron Beacon Journal published an article on the scholarship policy change in the paper this morning. You can view the article online at ohio(dot)com/news/local/ua-students-protest-loss-of-scholarship-refunds-1.491010

    2. Reached 500 signatures
    3. Tuesday Meeting

      Brianne Angell
      Petition Organizer

      Hello, everyone. I just wanted to let you know about an upcoming meeting that may interest you. On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 5pm in the Honors Complex, Room 83, there will be a student-led discussion regarding the University's new refund policy listed in the ZipMails from February 25 and February 28.

      Students will be hosting this dialogue in order to understand the impact this decision could have on UA. It is hoped that this can be a constructive exchange of ideas with an emphasis of avoiding negativity. The final goal is to establish a concise list of questions and concerns that need to be addressed. Senior Sean Blasko is accepting RSVPs for this discussion at https://docs.google.com/a/zips.uakron.edu/forms/d/1VdcH9GxMVX4_mj9cwoDK0e4rdhpIrUdZeJP8E7Dj404/viewform?usp=send_form

      The event may move to the Honors Commons Room if enough people RSVP; we will keep everyone updated. Thanks!

    4. More info.

      Brianne Angell
      Petition Organizer

      Once again, thank you to everyone who has signed so far.

      I am noticing that one of the main issues people seem to have with this policy change is the legality of the situation. When I talked with Lauri Thorpe (President Proenza's assistant) earlier this week, she informed me that everything has been approved by the proper councils. They are considering it to be "legal" because the original letters never said that the scholarships were promised to be paid in full, by check.

      However, this does not make it right - quite frankly, I think that they are grasping at straws and basing everything on a technicality. While the original letters notifying students of their scholarships may not have said, "-and we promise to pay you this full amount!" .... it is implied.

      I hope this helped illuminate that one issue. It is important to understand UA's argument, even if we don't agree with it.

    5. Reached 250 signatures
    6. What are your thoughts about this situation?

      Brianne Angell
      Petition Organizer

      Share your comments in the "Why is this important to you?" section.

    7. Reached 50 signatures
    8. Thanks to everyone who has signed so far!

      Brianne Angell
      Petition Organizer

      Remember to tell your friends and spread this around!

    9. Reached 10 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Maureen McCoy AKRORN, OH
      • about 1 month ago

      I am a student looking to afford my own place, while still attending UA and I am relying on the extra money to be able to afford books and extra living costs as I finish my degree. If I am presented with a certain amount of money that I can decide to accept and use/pay back on my own terms, then I should be able to get that full amount, otherwise the university should only grant what I am able to receive. And then to not be directly notified about this change is absolutely ridiculous. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rachel Neugebauer UNIONTOWN, OH
      • 3 months ago

      I chose to come to Akron because of the scholarships, and will no longer receive those because I also have fee remission.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Adrianna Hartman AKRON, OH
      • 3 months ago

      I try very hard to EARN all of my grades and apply for all scholarships possible. The fact that the University did this/is doing this makes me sick to my stomach!! :'(

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Victoriano Rodriguez WADSWORTH, OH
      • 3 months ago

      Because I am a student of UA

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Rebecca Yorfuwah AKRON, OH
      • 3 months ago

      This is important because I plans for that refund. I need it to buy books and pay rent and take care of myself.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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