Give the Scholarships Back to the Students

Give the Scholarships Back to the Students

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Morgan Sciacca started this petition to Lesley University Administration

Previously, students at Lesley University had access to merit scholarships that acted as tuition reduction, based on GPA and not need. They also had the option to apply for endowed scholarships, which was money donated from outside sources with their own set of specific criteria, such as requiring you to be a student from Maine, or have a certain major. If a student was awarded both scholarships, they would be able to receive both IN FULL. 

A new policy was enacted by former interim president Jeff Weiss, who decided that endowed scholarships would replace the merit scholarships when the endowed scholarship was awarded to a student. He made it so students no longer applied to the endowed scholarships, they were simply given to the students who qualified, who were also not informed that this was occurring. This swap-out policy has made it so a student, for example, who was awarded both a presidential merit scholarship, worth $10,000, and an endowed scholarship, which could also be worth $10,000, was not given $20,000 as previously allowed, but only given $10,000. This is a marked difference that can have severe consequences on the students this is impacting.

The reason this policy was put into effect, as explained to me in my meeting with Tim Cross, the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, was not due to a lack of money, but rather an excess. The endowed scholarships are restricted funds, meaning that the money can only be used for a specific cause outlined by the donor. They claimed that not enough students were applying to these scholarships, and there was money left-over at the end of the fiscal year. The administration had no clue how to explain to the donors that their money was not being used, and instead of taking the blame for their lack of marketing for the scholarships, they removed the aid from the students by implementing the new policy, not informing the student body that this change was occurring. I believe that they skipped many steps in making these endowed scholarships more accessible to students: the first step should have been considering why students were not applying, and making changes necessary to make them more visible to the Lesley community. 

Though this may not directly impact you (I would check your Spring 2019 semester statements, because if it did impact you they wouldn't have told you), it impacts many of your fellow classmates. The students who are impacted the most by this policy are the ones who bring diversity and uniqueness to the Lesley community, which claims to support these students yet revokes their aid. While I have been affected by this policy, which sparked my interest in doing further research and taking action, I am privileged enough to still continue my education with the additional aid. Others are not as privileged. The difference between the old and new policy could be the difference in a student being able to remain at Lesley University to continue their studies, and the complete lack of consideration for their needs, and the lack of communication about the new policy, goes against everything that Lesley University claims to stand for, which is why this policy needs to be changed.

I have a meeting set up with current president, Richard Hansen, on Thursday, May 9th, 2019, to discuss the next steps that should be done for this policy and why I believe this is harming the students. I have written an action plan with the short-term and long-term goals that should have been, and still should be, implemented before removing the much-needed aid from the students completely. I am asking for signatures, both online and in person, to show that the Lesley community and others are in support of this change that affects so many students. Please support me in this fight for equal access to scholarships and aid for those who are most in need.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!