Campus News

Bethel College to show changes in financial aid

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Bethel College president Gregg Chenoweth recently released an email to the Bethel College student body relaying specific changes to be seen over the course of the 2017-2018 school year. One of the biggest changes to report was regarding students’ financial aid. Chenoweth released the following statement within his recent email to students: “(Bethel College) increased Financial Aid per person significantly. Federal grants through Pell increased for next year, and for Indiana residents the State grant jumps $2,000! (Grant, not loan). Meanwhile, Bethel is arranging additional help to out-of-State students through the SEOG program. The result is, average net tuition (not listed “price,” but your actual “cost” after scholarships and grants) is now similar to flagship State universities. A recent government report (IPEDS) shows Bethel net tuition is $1,500 less than our peers. I am also happy to announce during Bethel’s 70th year that we attracted our 70th, 71st, 72nd, 73rd, and 74th endowed scholarships for you, totaling an additional corpus of nearly $500,000. And to off-set the rate of tuition increases, Bethel has innovatively increased non-traditional income by more than $500,000 per year through Conference Services, Customized Training, and other new formats. We also provide nearly $1 million in Student Employment wages per year, defraying the expense of tuition.” “As a college, we’re always looking for ways to help students, financially,” said financial aid counselor Bev Wagnerowski. “College is a financial burden across the nation. People are always trying to be creative in ways to save money. There are some things at the state and federal government level that we have no bearing over, but we do as much as we can for our students.” Every year the state reevaluates student aid. Bethel College typically doesn’t know what the numbers will look like until around July, but this year Bethel found out early. “They did make significant changes for state aid for students that receive ‘Freedom of Choice’ or ‘21st Century Scholar’ scholarship,” said Wagnerowski. “These changes for students can be seen to be as minimal $1,600 all the way up to the highest increase for students, which is an increase of $2,250 for in-state recipients of financial aid.” Wagnerowski continued, “On the federal level, Pell is reevaluated every year. We’ve seen an increase of about $100 per student within Pell.” Wagnerowski discussed some of the factors affecting the average amount of financial aid given to Bethel students. “The state of Indiana is in a place of having a more balanced budget, so they are now putting more money towards education,” said Wagnerowski. “We live in a state that has made a great effort to increase awareness for education.” Every year the amount of money given to student aid is reevaluated, so it is hard to discern how long financial aid is expected to remain at this level. The state and federal government evaluates much of this; however, there are still ways Bethel College raises money for its students through ways such as the endowed scholarships listed in the email President Chenoweth sent out. “Someone will choose to create an endowed scholarship, and then (Bethel College) uses a percentage of the escrow,” said Wagnerowski. “Those will continue to grow over the years. Right now we have over 70 different endowed scholarships, and we’ve increased that total from last year by five.” Specific departments (business, education, nursing, etc.) distribute some of these endowed scholarships each year. Many of these scholarships have been in place for many years, but they are reoccurring and will continue to be given out. “(Bethel College) is continuing hard to bring in more and more of these scholarships, because they really do play a significant factor into our students’ financial aid,” said Wagnerowski. Wagnerowski concluded by reaffirming students and letting them know that the financial aid office is always open to meeting with students. “We encourage students to always remember to fill out their FAFSA,” said Wagnerowski. “If they have concerns with their financial aid packages, then they are always welcome to come in and speak with us about how we can make things work better. We will do our best to aid and provide the best service we can give them.”
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