daily nebraskan Special issue
D#@! DEBT: THE OTHER FOUR-LETTER WORD Where it comes from, who itâ€™s hurting and what our country is doing about it
2 monday, April 23, 2012
letter from the editors A number we can afford to pay and a number — that when crossed — is the difference between receiving an education and not. The 40 students who participated in this in-depth project on student debt will graduate with an expected $738,000 in debt. We all know someone who has dropped out of college, transferred or never begun college because of outrageous costs. Each year, students make financial sacrifices as tuition increases at a rate faster than inflation. They choose majors based on what jobs will allow them to pay off their debt. They work more and study less. Student debt has surpassed credit card debt and no one is untouched. Students have to work to pay for school. Some students work two or three jobs to make ends meet. They take out federal and private loans. They take semesters off. They drop out. Of those who make it to graduation, 60 percent graduate with debt. Something has to change. And it has to be from the top down. As we watch the government bail out banks and automobile companies, we wonder why these institutions rank higher on the government’s priority list than its students. We are, after all, “the future.” Education is not only a personal investment. It’s an investment in our nation. But soon we will be a nation in which only the rich and privileged can afford higher knowledge. Twenty million students attended college this year with an average $25,000 in debt each. For many, as we see scattered throughout this endowment project, the stories behind the numbers involve sacrifice, lost dreams and potentials yet unreached. To our fellow students: If you are able to attend college, know what a treasure it is and fight for those who don’t share the privilege. To the government: The longer this problem persists, the larger the economic disparity will be and the fewer educated people our country will have. No article in this issue addresses how to avoid student debt. This is because it’s nearly impossible. Even smart, responsible, innovative students don’t always win enough scholarships. Universities can only do so much to alleviate the financial obstacles to a higher education. If the government cares about the future of our country, it will work swiftly to make education more accessible to everyone. If we want to be a land of equal opportunity, we won’t limit our educational resources to the rich. Education is power. In a time when our young nation faces some of its biggest threats and convoluted problems yet, we must empower as many minds as possible. An educated mind doesn’t see problems. It sees solutions.
daily nebraskan Design chief Liz Lachnit copy chief Danae Lenz web chief Kevin Moser art director Bea Huff Neil Orians director Bryan Klopping assistant director general manager. . . . . . . . . . 402.472.1769 Dan Shattil Advertising. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .402.472.2589 manager Nick Partsch Rylan Fitz assistant manager publications board. . . . . . . . . .402.613.0724 Adam Morfeld chairman professional AdvisEr . . . . . 402.473.7248 Don Walton
table of contents STATE OF DEBT The status of student debt at UNL and nationwide
All of us have a number.
editor-in-chief. . . . . . . . . . . 402.472.1766 Ian Sacks managing editor. . . . . . . . . . . 402.472.1763 Courtney Pitts news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .402.472.1763 associate editor Ellen Hirst Hailey Konnath assignment editor opinion editor Zach Smith Rhiannon Root assistant editor arts & entertainment. . . . . . 402.472.1756 editor Chance Solem-Pfeifer Katie Nelson assistant editor sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 402.472.1765 editor Doug Burger Robby Korth assistant editor photo chief Andrew Dickinson Multimedia editor Kevin Moser
monday, aPril 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
Founded in 1901, the Daily Nebraskan is the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s only independent daily newspaper written, edited and produced entirely by UNL students. General Information The Daily Nebraskan is published weekly on Mondays during the summer and Monday through Friday during the nine-month academic year, except during finals week. The Daily Nebraskan is published by the UNL Publications
Board, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE 685880448. The board holds public meetings monthly. Subscriptions are $95 for one year. job applications The Daily Nebraskan accepts job applications yearround for paid
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ON THE RISE.……………………………....................................................................................PAGE 6 How the cost of college has climbed over the years THE BIG PICTURE …………………………................................................................................PAGE 11 UNL’s student debt compared to other Big Ten universities THE FINE PRINT ……………………….................................................................................... PAGE 14 The hidden costs of college QUESTIONS OF EQUIVALENCY …………………......................................................................PAGE 16 Nebraska’s struggle of distributing Track and Field scholarships EDUCATION FOR HIRE ……………........................................................................................PAGE 18 The economy’s impact on humanities degrees
FACES OF DEBT Real people. Real debt stories. GOTTA CATCH ’EM ALL……………………..............................................................................PAGE 22 How former ASUN President Lane Carr will graduate debt-free CHANGE OF PLANS…………..………….................................................................................PAGE 28 Stories of students who take classes elsewhere or transfer because of cost AN OFFICER AND A JOURNALISt……………………...............................................................PAGE 30 Recent UNL graduate joins the Navy to pay off debt LACEY MASON: STUDENT LOANS PROVIDE TOUGH PATH TO SUCCESS………......................PAGE 31 Former DN opinion editor grapples with debt and job search post-graduation THIRD TIME’S A CHARM……………………............................................................................PAGE 38 A family’s story of paying for college despite economic hurdles
DECODING STUDENT DEBT A guide to understanding the debt machine DAILY NEBRASKAN’S DEBT DICTIONARy…………...............................................................PAGE 44 A glossary of terms you need to know to interpret debt MECHANICS OF DEBT …………………..................................................................................PAGE 46 Learn how to calculate interest on student loans SIGN BY THE X……………………..........................................................................................PAGE 48 When federal loans cut it, private loans bridge the gap
covers by bea huff and andrew dickinson | graphics by bea huff
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rise the on
upper limits of available aid,” said Craig Munier, director of UNL Scholarships and Financial Aid and chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. “The answer is ‘no’ (to more aid) a little more often today than it was five years ago,” Munier said, adding that for higher education across the country,“We’re asking students and families to borrow more and more.” This comes even as the financial aid awarded by UNL, including all loans, scholarships and grants, has ballooned from about $80 million in 2001 to more than $200 million in 2010, a rate far faster than enrollment, which only increased by about 2,000 during that time. Resident undergraduate tuition also went from just more than $100 per credit hour to more than $200. The reasons for the inexorable rise in college degrees’ costs
aid has been repeatedly targeted for cuts since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010. That push came to a head last summer when Congressional Republicans and Democrats fought bitterly over the government’s budget and debt ceiling, Wagner said. Pell Grants, which go to low-income students, largely survived the battle, but graduate student loans lost their interest-cutting subsidies. “Most of our leaders still think the more people are educated, the better,”Wagner said. But in the battle to balance the federal budget, he added,
debt),” said John Hibbing, a professor of political science, pointing to women’s health care, foreign policy and the federal budget in general that have recently taken center stage. “It’s certainly something that’s very important to me,”the professor added.“My honest opinion: It’s a factor, but not a big one.”
“We’re left with few choices,” Munier said. “Our costs are going 20-21 $323.08 to increase year to year.” Less grant money and maxing out21-22 on federal loans $339.23 can push students to private loans, Munier said, where amounts are typically $356.19 smaller and interest rates Scholarships andhigher. grants 22-23 As for other options, out-of-state23-24 is even more expensive, $374so the $84,950,883 rest often don’t go to college at all or go to community colleges,
Need-based loans and work study $51,920,772 Other student loans $24,744,928 Parents loans $32,651,173 Athletic awards $8,905,059
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07-08 $5,085 $15,105 $169.50 $503.50 21-22 $339.23 $1,006.24 Average UNL$10,177.02 graduate $36,340 $30,187.08 08-09 $5,392.50Daily Nebraskan $16,012.50 $179.75 $533.75 Daily Nebraskan monday, aPril 23, 2012 22-23 $356.19 $10,685.75 $1,056.55 Business Administration $35,610 $31,696.56 09-10 $5,610 $16,650 $187 $555 23-24 $11,220 $374 $1,109.38 Nutrition Science $35,375 $33,281.33 10-11 $5,947.50 $17,647.50 $198.25 $588.25 SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING History $34,755 11-12 $6,247.50 $18,532.50 $208.25 $617.75 Music Education $34,400 PROJECTED 5 PERCENT INCREASE THEYOUR CHANGING FACE THE COST OF A UNL DEGREE CAN CAREER PAY OF FORAID DEBT? Criminology and Criminal Justice $31,417 12-13 $6,560.10 $19,459.20 $218.67 $648.64 Since 1970s,offederal aid given to thestarting typical student has undergone a drastic Since 2004, tuition has increased by about 5 percent each year, a rate officials say is Below is the a sample the average reported Elementary Education $31,143 change. 1975, students about five times as much aid in the form 13-14 $6,888 $20,432.16 $229.60 $681.07 normal. The following shows undergraduate tuition since the fall of 2000 and projects salaries by In major of full-time UNL students whoreceived have graduated International Studies $31,000 of agrants as they did inlisted loans.from In the early salary 1980s,tounder the Reagan administration, that 5 percent increase until 2023. Assuming the current rate of increase holds, tuition with bachelor’s degree, highest 14-15 $7,232.40 $21,453.70 $241.08 $715.12 that ratio shiftedgraduate to an even split between the two, likely contributing to the nation’s Journalism $28,500 will increase by 70 percent during ARE the nextPAYING 12 years. lowest. The overall average and the average HOW UNL STUDENTS 15-16 $7,594.20 $22,526.28 $253.14 $750.88 rising student debt. debt, both across the country and here at UNL, are also UNL awarded more than $200 million in financial aid in the Art $27,400 RESIDENT NON-RESIDENT 16-17 $265.79 $7,973.70 $788.42 $23,652.72 included for comparison. 2010-2011 academic year, Science the last30 year with available $7,000 Family $25,876 CREDITS YEAR PER CREDIT HR PER CREDIT HR 30 CREDITS 17-18 $279.08 $8,372.40 $827.84 $24,835.23 data. That amountAverage has more than in the past MAJOR SALARY U.S.doubled graduate’s debt $2,760 2000-01 $92 $250.50$25,250 $7,515 18-19 $293.04 $8,791.20 $869.23 $26,076.90 $6,000 decade and included scholarships and grants (most Biological Systems Engineering $62,333 Average UNL graduate’s debt $20,000 01-02 $101.25 $8,640 19-20 $9,230.76 $27,380.75 $307.69 $912.69 need-based), student loans, parent$3,037.50 loans taken out for $288 SOURCE: UNL CAREER SERVICES, UNL OFFICE OF $5,000 Computer Science $58,632 AND FINANCIAL AID, CNN $3,345 SCHOLARSHIP 02-03 and other $111.50 $331.25 $9,937.50 20-21 $9,692.40 $28,749.74 $323.08 $958.32 students awards. Agricultural Engineering $51,167 $4,000 $3,847.50 03-04 $128.25 $381 $11,430 21-22 $10,177.02 $30,187.08 $339.23 $1,006.24 story22-23 by Dan Holtmeyer Mathematics/Math Education $48,922 SCHOLARSHIPS 04-05 $143.75 $4,312.50 $426.75 $12,802.50 $10,685.75 $31,696.56 $356.19 $1,056.55 $3,000 AND GRANTS Economics $46,583 $4,530 05-06 $151 $448 $13,440 23-24 $11,220 $33,281.33 $374 $1,109.38 $2,000 Communication Studies $39,281 SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING $4,800 06-07 $160 $475 $14,250 The rising cost of tuition has outpaced inflation and student debt has Psychology $37,136 $5,085 07-08 $169.50 $503.50 $15,105 $1,000 outgrown credit card debt, aided by politics and economic factors THE CHANGING FACE OF AID Average UNL graduate $36,340 $5,392.50 08-09 $179.75 $533.75 $16,012.50 $0 Since the 1970s, federal aid given to the typical student has undergone a drastic Business Administration $35,610 $5,610 09-10 $187 In 1975, full-time $555 $16,650 change. students received about five times as much aid in the form Nutrition Science $35,375 $5,947.50 10-11 $198.25 $588.25 $17,647.50 of grants as they did in loans. In the early 1980s, under the Reagan administration, stretch across the past several decades and reach into national osh Neumann came to the University of Nebraska-LinHistory $34,755Average loan aid that ratio shifted to an even split between the two, likely contributing to the nation’s $6,247.50 11-12 $208.25 $617.75 $18,532.50 HOW UNL STUDENTS ARE PAYING Average grant aid politics, economic forces and competition among colleges to be coln last fall to study music education, a path solidly in rising student debt. Music Education $34,400 Scholarships and grants UNL awarded more than $200 million in financial aid in the SOURCE: THE COLLEGE BOARD PROJECTED 5 PERCENT INCREASE the best and biggest. place by his senior year of high school and a bargain, he 2010-2011 academic year, the last year with available $84,950,883 Criminology and Criminal Justice $31,417 $7,000 said, at UNL. $6,560.10 12-13 $218.67 $648.64 $19,459.20 data. That amount has more than doubled in the past Still, like a majority of today’s college students, Neu- Politics: Gatekeeper of Aid Federal Elementary Education $31,143 Need-based loans and $6,888 13-14 $229.60 $681.07 $20,432.16 $6,000 mann relies on student loans, along with help from his parents, decade and included scholarships and grants (most Since the early 1980s, the balance of federal aid between $24,032,940 International Studies work study to pay for his degree. After talking with his girlfriend’s grandfa- grants and loans has swung in favor of loans. In 1975, five out of THE COST OF A$715.12 UNL DEGREE CAN YOUR$31,000 CAREER PAY FOR DEBT? $7,232.40 14-15 $241.08 $21,453.70 need-based), student loans, parent loans taken out for $5,000 ther, Neumann said, he started wondering why college demandsix federal aid dollars to the average student were in the form of Journalism $28,500 $51,920,772 Since 2004, tuition has increased by about 5 percent each year, a rate officials say is Below is a sample of the average reported starting State students and other awards. $7,594.20 15-16 $253.14 $750.88 $22,526.28 ed so much debt. grants, according to College Board. normal. The following shows undergraduate tuition since the fall of 2000 and projects salaries by major of UNL students who have graduated $4,000 Art $27,400 $3,287,246 “He could actually work off all his semester’s debt and livOther student loans $7,973.70 16-17 $265.79 $788.42 $23,652.72 During Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s, however, SCHOLARSHIPS that 5 percent increase until 2023. Assuming the current rateFamily of increase holds, tuition with a bachelor’s$25,876 degree, listed from highest salary to ing expenses just with a minimum-wage job,” said Neumann, that debt-friendly 5:1 ratio rapidly shrank. By 1984, the average Science $24,744,928 $3,000 17-18 $279.08 $827.84 $24,835.23 UNL will$8,372.40 increase by 70 percent during the next 12 years. lowest. The overall graduate average and the average AND GRANTS who works about 30 hours a week at Shopko and struggles to aid per student was split in half between grants and loans, and it Average U.S. graduate’sdebt, debt $25,250 pay for gas. $8,791.20 18-19 $293.04 $869.23 $26,076.90 Parents loans both across the country and here at UNL, are also has stayed that way ever since. $44,785,715 $2,000 RESIDENT NON-RESIDENT Debt is a fact of students’ lives. Crystal Harding, a 36-yearAverage UNL graduate’sincluded debt for comparison. $20,000 “President Reagan pledged to eliminate the Department of $32,651,173 $9,230.76 19-20 $307.69 $912.69 $27,380.75 YEAR 30 CREDITS 30 CREDITS PER CREDIT HR PER CREDIT HR old mother working on a psychology degree, said debt — and Education when he ran for president,” said Michael Wagner, an SOURCE: UNL CAREER SERVICES, UNL OFFICE OF $1,000 Other SCHOLARSHIP MAJORAND FINANCIAL AID, CNN SALARY lots of it — was inevitable. $9,692.40 20-21 $323.08 $28,749.74 $250.50 Athletic awards assistant professor of political science. 2000-01 $2,760 $7,515 $92$958.32 $12,844,982 “I know people ... who pretty much resolve to be in debt the $0 That push failed, Wagner added, but the conservative ideal of Biological Systems Engineering $62,333 $10,177.02 $101.25 21-22 $1,006.24 $3,037.50 $30,187.08 $288 $8,905,059$339.23 01-02 $8,640 rest of their lives,” Harding said.“It is what it is. You want to get low taxes and an individual paying for services, such as a college Computer Science $58,632 SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING $10,685.75 22-23 $356.19 $1,056.55 $3,345 $31,696.56 $331.25 an education, you got to do what it takes.” 02-03 $9,937.50 $111.50 education, stuck. That acceptance wasn’t always shared by other students. Agricultural Engineering $51,167 The fundamental question is who benefits most from a college $11,220 23-24 $374 $1,109.38 $3,847.50 $33,281.33 $381 03-04 $11,430 Average grant$128.25 aid Average loan aid “It’s kind of crazy,” Neumann said. “I wonder, sometimes, education, the individual or society, Munier said. SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING Mathematics/Math Education $48,922 Scholarships and grants what’s going on. I’m one of those people that like to ask why 04-05 $4,312.50 $12,802.50 $143.75 $426.75 SOURCE: THE COLLEGE BOARD During the Reagan administration, he said, the answer — honestly, right now it seems like there’s no good answer.” Economics $46,583 $84,950,883 changed from society to the individual, and the face of public 05-06 $4,530 $13,440 $151 $448 The average federal student loan in 2010 was $6,368 — aid changed accordingly. THE Munier CHANGING FACECommunication OF AID Federal which have an important function, said, but can’t Studies $39,281 Less Money, More Costs Need-based loans and 06-07 $4,800 $14,250 $160 $475 more than six times as much as in 1973, adjusted for inflation. “‘I only want to pay for the roads I’m going to drive on,’” deliver the same opportunities as larger institutions. Since the 1970s, federal aid given to the typical student has undergone a drastic $24,032,940 The rising price tag of a degree also owes itself to economic forcPsychology $37,136 One-fifth of all 2009 graduates owed back at least $28,000 in Munier said to describe the idea. “If that’s what we’re going to work study Whether and universities are rightstudents received about five times as much aid in the form $5,085 state governments $15,105 $169.50 $503.50 change. In 1975, full-time es both expected and unexpected, 07-08 not least of which is the 2008 student loans. do, then this (increase in costs) is a natural reflection of that.” to cut aid in tight times is a question worth examining, $51,920,772 Average UNL graduate $36,340 State recession. of grants as they did in loans. In the early 1980s, under the Reagan administration, 08-09 $5,392.50 $16,012.50 $179.75 $533.75 The result: The nation’s $1 trillion in student debt has now After that pattern was set in place, a Democratic-majority Munier said. After the housing and lending bubbles burst, cities and states $3,287,246 Business Administration $35,610 that ratio shifted to an even split between the two, likely contributing to the nation’s eclipsed the nation’s credit-card debt, and each year brings Congress raised federal limits to the amount students could Other student loans HOW UNL STUDENTS 09-10 ARE PAYING $5,610 $16,650 $187 $555of deciding whether “We stand at a crossroads we’re across the country were forced to trim their budgets, and education another record-high student average. In 2011, according to in- borrow by several thousand dollars, likely pushing student rising student debt.students $24,744,928 Nutrition Science $35,375 going to continue ... to afford access to those UNL awarded more than $200 million in financial aid in the 10-11 $5,947.50 $17,647.50 $588.25 UNL funding was often one of the targets. Congressional$198.25 Republicans formation provided by the university, about 60 percent of UNL debt even higher. who deserve to be here (but$7,000 can’t pay),” he said. “I think 2010-2011 academic year, the last year with available have become famously averse to raising taxes to fund public educaHistory $34,755 Parents loans graduates borrowed, coming to an average of almost $20,000 $44,785,715 11-12 $6,247.50 $208.25 Several students interviewed said the ideal mix of loans and we abandon this path at$617.75 our own peril.” $18,532.50 data.asThat tion well.amount has more than doubled in the past of debt — more than half of their average reported starting Music Education $34,400 grants should lie somewhere in the middle. $32,651,173 PROJECTED 5 PERCENT $6,000 Here in Nebraska, factors have meant state funding to the INCREASE decade and includedthose scholarships and grants (most salary. Other “You want your populace to be educated,” said Christie The Best, Biggest — and Criminology and Criminal Justice $31,417 University of Nebraska system has remained essentially frozen for Athletic awards The growth comes as students meet rising education costs. Morton, a junior international studies major who lives with 12-13 $6,560.10 $19,459.20 $218.67 $648.64 need-based), student loans, parent loans taken out for $12,844,982 $5,000 the past several years. Since 1979, the cost of attending public institutions has more her parents and rides a bus to school to save money.“If we just Most Expensive Elementary Education $31,143 $8,905,059 students and other awards.a university 13-14 $6,888 $20,432.16 $229.60 $681.07 At the same time, running is steadily more expensive than doubled, with tuition soaring from $3,300 ($10,200 in Finally, in the rush to have the best facilities and probrought everyone up ... the nation would be so much better.” SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING $4,000 International Studies $31,000 because of inflation and insurance costs, while those same universi14-15 $7,232.40 $241.08 2011 dollars) to more than $20,000 in 2011. When adjusted for grams — including for $715.12 sports like football$21,453.70 — and to atDaniela Garvue, a junior history major and friend of MorSCHOLARSHIPS ties work to expand their facilities and programs. inflation, tuition has more than doubled. Journalism $28,500 tract more students to plug leaking colleges and ton, said politicians were too focused on concerns outside of $3,000 budgets, 15-16 $253.14said. $7,594.20 $750.88 $22,526.28 “That money’s got to come from somewhere,” Hibbing AND GRANTS Through the years, a product or service normally costs more the country at the cost of internal concerns, such as education. universities appear to be driving up their own costs. RobArt $27,400 Republicans have an eye toward shrinking social safety nets. “That’s where the rubber hits the road.” 16-17 $7,973.70 $23,652.72 $265.79 $788.42 and more dollars, a process called inflation that pushes costs ert Frank, an economics professor University, “The priorities in this country are ridiculous,” Garvue said. $2,000 at Cornell “Public education is one of those things for the Republican And unlike other programs that must simply make do with less Family Science $25,876 up like a rising tide. But with inflation rates typically just a few called it the “prestige chase” in a March column in The But the story that began in the 1980s has continued to to- Party,”Wagner said. 17-18 $8,372.40 $24,835.23 $279.08 $827.84 money, universities increasingly turn to student tuition and fees to percentage points a year, education’s cost has seemingly taken New York Times. $1,000 day, Wagner said. Former Republican presidential hopeful Rick Average U.S. graduate’s debt $25,250 And it doesn’t look like that will change this election cycle. 18-19 $8,791.20 $26,076.90 make up the balance, said Munier, the scholarship and$293.04 financial aid on a life of its own. “Your school needs $869.23 to be bigger at all times,” said Santorum, for example, called President Barack Obama a “snob” “In all fairness, there’s a lot of issues competing (with student director. Average UNL graduate’s debt $20,000 “We’re finding an increase of students who are reaching the in February for wanting everyone to go to college, and federal Steven Schubert, a junior fisheries and en$0 and wildlife 19-20 $307.69 $9,230.76 $912.69 $27,380.75
monday, April 23, 2012
SOURCE: UNL CAREER SERVICES, UNL OFFICE OF vironmental studies major, when describing the mindset SCHOLARSHIP AND FINANCIAL AID, CNN $9,692.40 $28,749.74 $958.32 behind this trend. $10,177.02 $1,006.24 “There’s no end to it,” agreed Ann Mari $30,187.08 May, a profesAverage grantpattern aid Averagetoloan aid their tuition or risk losing by calling out colleges restrain sor of economics at UNL who specializes in feminist and $10,685.75 $1,056.55 $31,696.56 SOURCE: THE COLLEGE BOARD some federal funding. higher education economics. “There have to be ways to $11,220 $33,281.33 $1,109.38 “We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run contain college costs. These are areas that have exceeded SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING out of money,”Obama told the country’s colleges.“If you can’t stop Federal the rate of inflation, and these are areas that directly aftuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go fect families.” $24,032,940 down.” The trend Schubert and May noticed has raised flags THE FACE OF AID WhileCHANGING cause and effect can’t be pinpointed, UNL appears to fit up to the highest levels of government. In his State of the State Since this the pattern 1970s, federal aid given to the typical student within of collegiate competition propelling costshas sky-undergo Union Address earlier this year, Obama touched on this $3,287,246 change. full-time receivedofabout times as muc ward. The In last1975, few years havestudents featured millions dollarsfive in budget of grants as they did in loans. In the early 1980s, under the Reagan a UNL that ratio shifted to an even split between the two, likely contributing HOW $44,785,715 UNL STUDENTS ARE PAYING rising student debt. UNL awarded more than $200 million in financial aid in the 2010-2011 academic year, the last year with available $7,000 Other data. That$12,844,982 amount has more than doubled in the past $6,000 decade and included scholarships and grants (most
need-based), student loans, SOURCE: UNL INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND PLANNING
cost: see page 55
parent loans taken out for
8 monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
THE POWER OF THOUGHT
If a child believes she will be able to go to college by 5th grade she...
Debt impacts students unequally based on race, gender, sexual orientation and other factors story by Dan Holtmeyer
ork hard, get an education and the social ladder is yours to climb.
Unless your hardest work isn’t hard enough. “All of my friends, we’re here on scholarship,” said Jasmine Kitchen, a sophomore pre-nursing student, who qualifies for several grants, including one from the Susan T. Buffett Foundation.“If we weren’t here on scholarship, we wouldn’t be here.” It was a common theme among more than two dozen interviews with students, parents and university officials and professors: Student debt is making college a bigger and bigger gamble. “It’s nearly impossible for us to pay for school by ourselves,” said Steven Schubert, a junior fisheries and wildlife major. He and his friends participate in medical studies and donate plasma for money, he said. “I have to find money,” Schubert said. “If I don’t, I don’t go to school.” Stress, changed or delayed plans, reliance on scholarships and even the threat of needing to leave college were all among students’ reported effects of debt. But thanks to a combination
of social, historical and economic factors, those effects aren’t spread equally. A student’s race, gender and sexual orientation can make debt an even larger burden to bear, many professors said, and students’ accounts backed them up. And the impact can go far beyond school.
A Tougher Hit
monday, aPril 23, 2012
Marisol Saldaña, a junior international business student and single mother, said she depended on Pell Grants and her parents to pay for school at UNL. But her situation, Saldaña said, was precarious. “My parents are paying for everything right now,” she said. “If I don’t find a scholarship, I’m not coming back next year.” Saldaña’s situation isn’t unusual for students of color, said Bridget Goosby, an assistant professor of sociology who specializes in inequality, poverty and race. “(Debt) is going to disproportionately affect students of color, particularly African-Americans and Latinos,” Goosby said. “They’re two groups that are historically disproportionately represented in low-income populations.” In other words, people of color tend to have less of a cushion to deal with debt, especially when economic times get tough.
The average wealth of black and Latino families, for example, plunged from about one-tenth of the average white family’s wealth to one-twentieth after the 2008 recession, according to the Pew Research Center, largely because of home foreclosures. Put bluntly, these groups have historically made less than whites, which means they’re less likely to own a home — a significant portion of their wealth, according to NPR — and less likely to go to college and learn how the system works. Policies in some neighborhoods in the 1940s and 1950s prohibited non-whites from owning homes. “Things are getting better, but if one group has 50 years of a head start on growing their wealth, they’re still going to come out on top,” said Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, an assistant professor of educational administration who specializes in minority issues in higher education. “As we think about policies, we really do need to think about these historical inequalities.” Those families, as a result, have fewer resources to support their kids in school, who then also have less to support their own children, and so on, Goosby said. “That makes a huge difference,” said Horacio Miranda, a senior communication studies major. The first-generation
will do better in middle school
will be more likely to graduate high school
is more likely to go to college
is more likely to complete college
will earn a degree If a child doesn’t believe that, all of this falters. Children of color are more likely to be in this group thanks to a long history of discrimination still felt today. SOURCE: RACHELLE WINKLE-WAGNER, UNL PROF.
student said his parents weren’t able to help with college’s intricacies or costs, so he had to master scholarships and loans on his own. It’s helped him understand his finances and take a more assertive role, Miranda said, but he knows what he’s missing. “Parents who go to college understand the power of resources,”he said. Blacks and Latinos arrived at this situation by two distinct paths, Goosby said. Latinos immigrating to the country tend to have lower incomes already, while black Americans contend with a centuries-long past of discrimination, some of which leeches into the present. Goosby pointed to several studies conducted during the past decade that revealed hiring discrimination. In a 2004 Harvard University study, for example, job applications with names like Jamal and Lakisha were significantly less likely to receive callbacks than identical applications from someone named Greg or Emily. Blacks also tend to make less in their lifetimes even with the same level of education at the same jobs, according to a study last year from Georgetown University. “So we have this inherent bias, racial bias, that still underlies this,” Goosby said. “It’s more than individual behavior. This is a bigger issue than that.”
Gender and Sexuality
The story of less income and economic resilience can repeat itself for women and students who aren’t straight as well. “One of the dimensions that makes it more difficult to pay off a loan or pay off your student debt is gender,”said Ann Mari May, an economics professor who specializes in gender and higher education economics. “This comes from a variety of reasons. It can come from a choice of major (and) it can come from a devaluation of a person in the work place.” For example, according to the Georgetown study on lifetime earnings, a woman typically needs to earn a doctorate before she can expect to match the earnings of a man with a bachelor’s. The mix of societal sexism — giving women lower wages and fewer promotions — and choice of lower-paying careers is difficult to tease apart, but both are likely involved and can feed into one another. Sexual orientation can also influence a student’s ability to deal with student debt when parents cut off aid to a child who comes out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. “Sometimes parents try to use financial leverage as a way of either trying to control their child’s behavior or to send a message,” said Pat Tetreault, director of UNL’s LGBTQA Resource Center (the
acronym adds “questioning or queer” and “ally” students). “I have heard that story from a number of students.” Kyler Wimbush, a freshman psychology major who is transgender, said he recently came out to his mother to a chilly response. Wimbush relies largely on loans and grants, he said, but his mother has since cut off the monetary help that paid for food, monthly Walmart trips and other expenses. Promises of helping with loans also feel shaky now, Wimbush said. Beyond money, the loss of psychological support stings as well, and for LGBT youth in general, that can be a tremendous source of stress, Tetreault said. “I just talk to my friends about it sometimes,” Wimbush said.“Otherwise I try not to think about it and keep myself busy.” Though threats of withholding support aren’t always carried out, Tetreault said, many are. One former student saw money saved for graduate school disappear after his or her parents donated it to a political organization, she said. Others are thrown out of homes before college enters the picture. But there’s little data to give a picture for how often this occurs, Tetreault said. “We know there’s this huge chunk of LGBT youth who never make it to college,” she said. “But again, we don’t have really good data.”
The Echoes of Debt
The tougher hit from debt on these populations can have a variety of effects, many of which are set in motion far before college. “One of the things that the research indicates is if a student knows that their college is paid for ... by fifth grade, that student is more likely to do well in middle school and high school,” said Winkle-Wagner, the assistant professor of education. “They’re more likely to graduate high school, they’re more likely to go to college and they’re more likely to graduate college,” she said. “In some ways, (that confidence) is the golden ticket.” What this means, Winkle-Wagner added, is students who don’t think they can pay for college feel that weight long before their first step on campus. That knowledge or belief gradually strips at minorities’ ranks, as some drop out of high school, others graduate but don’t go on to college, and still more don’t earn a degree. “The idea of taking on debt when you can’t pay for it, people are resistant to that,” Winkle-Wagner said. “Loans are part of the solution, but they aren’t the best answer they get.” Even if non-white students make it to the finish line, they often adjust their career plans with money in mind, she said, and the relatively low-paying “helping professions,” such as teaching and social work, can suffer. The effects of that shift can reach across generations as well. “Kids really desperately need at some point to have a teacher who’s had similar experiences or who looks like them,”Winkle-Wagner said.“If they’re not seeing people in those role-modeling positions, it can affect what they think they can do.” Another consequence of tougher debt is simple: stress. “I was going to transfer last year if I didn’t get (the Susan T. Buffett Scholarship),”said Tenesha McCraney, a sophomore elementary education major. Last year she worked two jobs to help pay for school; that’s down to one this year.
inequality: see page 50
10monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
results of Daily Nebraskan online polls
WHAT AMOUNT OF to DEBT HOW MUCH DO between YOU April To aid its in-depth report on student debt, the Daily Nebraskan asked readers respond to the following online polls DO YOU EXPECT TO RECEIVE IN 17 and AprilWHAT 22. These results do not average at the UniversityHOW of Nebraska-Lincoln andNEED-BASED should not be taken AMOUNT OF indicate DEBT the student-body HOW MUCH DO YOU MANY HOURS PER to be statistically significant. They are intended simply to provide insight into current trends among UNL students. ForAND GRADUATE WITH? SCHOLARSHIPS AID DO YOU EXPECT TO RECEIVE IN NEED-BASED WEEK 7.HAVE YOU WORKED,institutional Noregarding debt 26% statistics average debt and financial aid among UNL students as of 2010-11, see page (NOT INCLUDING LOANS) GRADUATE WITH?
$5,000 or less 6% $10,000 or less 5% $15,000 or less 8% $20,000 or less 14% More than $20,000 41%
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BASED ON 140 STUDENT VOTES
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YOUR PAST TWO SEMESTERS AT UNL?
BASED ON 176 STUDENT VOTES
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picture UNL’s student debt is relatively low compared to other Big Ten universities story by Jacy Marmaduke
niversity of Nebraska-Lincoln average student debt isn’t so “big” when compared to other Big Ten institutions. In fact, it’s the lowest. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average debt of 2010 UNL graduates was $16,664 — the lowest number of all Big Ten schools. Craig Munier, director of UNL Scholarships and Financial Aid, said the reason for the ranking is simple: low tuition costs. “Historically, our tuition and fees are quite a bit less when compared to most Big Ten institutions, but we also rank among the lowest in terms of commitment to need-based grants at the state and institutional level,” Munier said. Student debt has risen nationwide in accordance with increasing tuition rates, said Ted Malone, executive director of Purdue University’s Division of Financial Aid. Malone said tuition has increased at public institutions due to a decrease in state support, and the economy is to blame. “Most families live paycheck to paycheck, regardless of how much that paycheck is,” Malone said. “We’ve been consumer-driven for a long time.” Anna M. Griswold, executive director for Student Aid at The Pennsylvania State University, said the economy has robbed many families of their college savings, leaving students with lessened or non-existent financial contributions from their parents. “Students are replacing that help with loans,” Griswold said. “It’s happening across all schools.” The effect is a bit exaggerated at Penn State, said Griswold, because the school has the highest in-state tuition rate of all Big Ten public universities: $31,135. “We’re a large institution, so there’s just not
AVERAGE DEBT AT BIG TEN SCHOOLS
When compared to other Big Ten schools, UNL students actually graduate with the least amount of debt on average.
SCHOOL AVERAGE DEBT Pennsylvania State University $31,135 University of Michigan $27,828 Indiana University $27,752 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities $27,578 University of Iowa $27,391 Purdue University $26,360 Northwestern University $23,200* University of Wisconsin-Madison $22,872 Ohio State University $22,830 Michigan State University $21,818 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign $21,543 University of Nebraska-Lincoln $16,664 *As of 2008
enough money to go around,” she said. “We’re working hard to increase scholarship endowment, but we’re just not there yet.” Munier said UNL’s low tuition rates and low rate of student debt have been the subject of much discussion since the school joined the Big Ten Conference. “That sounds to me like an invitation to raise tuition,” he said. “I keep reminding people that many of these other Big Ten schools have made a more sizable commitment to need-based grants and scholarships.” Jacymarmaduke@ dailynebraskan.com
12monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
story by Frannie Sprouls
Efforts by university, government officials aim to stem the flow of student debt
ost college students face some amount of debt on graduation day, whether the amount is less than $10,000 or more than $20,000. As the price tag of tuition climbs across the country, not just in Nebraska, so does the amount of debt students accrue. The average amount of student debt for the class of 2010 was $25,250. That amount is about $500 less than the cost of an out-ofstate student attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the 2009-2010 school year. The class of 2010’s debt ranges from an average of $15,509 in Utah to an average of $31,048 in New Hampshire, according to the Project on Student Debt. The Project on Student Debt is a part of the Institute for College Access and Success and works to identify cost-effective solutions that expand educational opportunity. In November 2011, the project released its sixth annual report: “Student Debt and the Class of 2010.” It estimated nearly two-thirds of graduating seniors had student loan debt. The average amount of debt had risen five percent from the previous year. On its site is an interactive map, along with data sets, of where each state is ranked and information from individual colleges and universities with the help of College InSight. Nebraska, as a state, is ranked 36 on the site, with an average debt of $21,227. The average includes all colleges and universities who reported their numbers to Peterson’s College Data. UNL’s class of 2010 graduated with an average debt of $16,664. Of the students who graduated, 60 percent had some amount of debt. With such a large amount of students graduating with thousands of dollars in debt, there must be recommendations on how colleges and universities can decrease the amount of debt students find themselves in. The Project on Student Debt’s report states that graduating with substantial debt can limit career options, making it difficult to save for a home, a family or retirement. The report presented two solutions: increase access to needbased student aid and require school certification of private loans. So what does the University of Nebraska have in mind to decrease its students’ debt?
On Sept. 9, the NU Board of Regents approved the proposal to standardize baccalaureate degrees at 120 credit hours. The purpose of adopting the 120-credit degree is to provide students with the opportunity to graduate in four years if they take 15 hours in each of their eight semesters. “We’d like to make sure that students can go through their programs in four years and not have to increase the amount of time they would have to be here,” said Alan Cerveny, dean of enrollment management.“That will help on the debt front ... With only a few exceptions, all of our programs will be moving to the 120-credit-hour requirement.” Those exceptions are if professional accreditation requires more credits for licensing than can be completed to meet standard graduation requirements, if a degree is governed by state requirements for certification that requires more than 120 hours and if the degree is defined as a five-year degree. Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Amy Goodburn said the reason the regents made the decision was nationally, about 42 states made similar policies. “The goal is to help students graduate more quickly and to help them avoid the debt they accumulate when they don’t graduate,” Goodburn said in a phone interview. “That’s nationally what the momentum has been.” But Goodburn said while the policy was changed to 120 credit hours, there really is no magic number to help students graduate in four years. “Ultimately, I don’t think it matters how many credit hours (someone takes),” Goodburn said. “It’s the quality of credit hours that’s the key.” Cerveny suggested resources for students to use, such as the Student Money Management Center and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. “It’s always important that students understand that a loan is a loan is a loan,” Cerveny said.“It isn’t a gift-aid. It’s something that has to be paid back. We want students to be very careful about the debts they are incurring while they’re in school.”
He also said students have the option of work-study in order to help pay for the cost of school. And looking at the cost of tuition, NU President James B. Milliken put his foot down when he took office in 2005. The four years before Milliken, tuition had been increasing by 10 to 15 percent. “At that point, I talked to the chancellor (Harvey Perlman) and the Board of Regents and said enough,” Milliken said in a telephone interview. “We are going to put a stop, at that point, to double-digit tuition increases and we’re going to institute what I considered be moderate, preJames B. Milliken to nu president dictable increases in tuition.” Since 2005, UNL’s tuition has increased at an average of 5 percent, which Milliken said remains below the average of UNL’s peers, which includes the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Colorado, Missouri and Iowa. The average tuition amount is $9,102 and UNL’s tuition for the 2010-2011 school year was $7,224. “By that measure, I would not say UNL is cheap, but I would say it’s good value,” Milliken said. “We’re providing a high quality, post-secondary education for a tuition rate that’s considerably lower than peer institutions.” Looking at the financial aid aspects, Milliken said the university has significantly increased private funding and the amount of funds put into financial aid. Making sure that Nebraska remains affordable relies on a number of different elements, Milliken said. One of the ways to keep college affordable is to have a stable base of state support. But the university has not received much from the state in terms of investment. Milliken said the state has kept the investment to the university at a flat rate for the last five years because of the difficult economy.
We’re providing a high quality, post-secondary education for a tuition rate that’s considerably lower than peer institutions.”
Scale back debt with job, budget, self-control
“Do I hope that the state investment in the university stays flat forever? No,” Milliken said. “I hope that after five years of flat funding in one of the most difficult economies on record that the state makes more of an investment in the university. That affects, significantly, the level of tuition needed.” Edward St. John, a professor at the University of Michigan and someone who has worked with the issue of student loans since President Jimmy Carter’s administration, is trying to use research of student debt to bring reason to the process of rising tuition. When the federal grant programs began in the late 1970s, the purpose was to equalize opportunity, St. John said. “Loans were thought of, originially, as a way a family can pay part of the share they had to pay,” he said. “Now, grants are so far beyond meeting need that students often have to borrow beyond subsidized loans.” St. John believes the universities can do a lot in decreasing student debt. And so can the state, if the debt reduction plan fits with the traditions of the state and the people hold to the plan. But a lot of states that try to increase grants aren’t always succeeding. St. John gave the example of California, which used to be No. 1 in access to education but has dropped down. “It’s a mess,” he said. “The federal loan system is kind of, almost in chaos. We have serious problems.” St. John worries for students who have taken out a lot in loans because it creates a burden that affects career choices, whether they get married earlier and how they are going to vote in elections. “How do you try to make it as a dancer or musician or cartoonist with huge debt?” he said. “You can’t. You can’t get rid of that debt.” Even with his worries, St. John said the debt problem can be solved. It just won’t take a six-step plan, especially with a changing society and economy. “It’s hard to have a lot of hope sometimes,” he said. “It is being solved some places. There are ways to solve it and it takes public will.” franniesprouls@ dailynebraskan.com
tudent debt has become a joking matter as students compare how much they will have when they graduate. In fact, it’s now the norm. Their debt is spun into a positive light as students tell you that it’s good for their credit score, all the while racking it up. For some of us, student debt is inevitable. Not everyone can receive scholarships and go to school with minimal expenses. So loans are required. They are very beneficial, but one must not rely too heavily on them. In November, the Huffington Post reported, “Members of the college class of 2010 who took out student loans owed on average $25,250 upon graduation.” Unless money isn’t an issue, students should be aware of the various dangers of debt. Below are a few tips on how to decrease one’s debt over time. First, know what you want to do. Changing majors multiple times midway into your college career may add another year of classes, which means more money to pay. Deciding one’s major is easier said than done. If you are uncertain about choosing a major, general requirements can be taken during the freshmen year as you figure things out. Another option would be to take entry level classes at a community college. This greatly cuts back on tuition costs and allows students to figure out what they want to do at a lower cost than at a large university. This may sound unappealing, but it’s easier on the wallet. Second, if you are still unsure of what to do going into your junior year, pick a major and go with it. By the time of your junior year, half of your credits should have been earned and it’s likely they are concentrated in one field more than others. Pick the field you have the most credits in and go for it. In a September article, MSNBC reported, “A study by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that full-time workers holding bachelor’s degrees earn an average of $15,400 more per year than full-time workers with some college, but no degree.” Therefore, in terms of salaries, it’s often better to push through college and come out with a degree. Even if it means accumulating debt for another year or two as you finish your degree, it’s better than dropping out. This way, you aren’t running the risk of working at a low-income job while paying
debt for a degree you never completed. A third, more drastic, option is to take a year off. It would be of little use to continue wandering through classes, uncertain of any direction while paying high tuition costs. Soul-searching can be done outside the classroom just as well. This not only allows a student to decide a career path while avoiding the accumulation of debt, but allows one to work and acquire money to pay for tuition costs when returning to school. This tactic should only be a last resort, because after taking a year off it’s hard for many to return to college. The prospect of making money and living independently often lures students from continuing to invest in their future and earning a higher income down the road. Also, after a few years off, some often feel that they no longer fit in and would stick out in classes. This apprehension often persuades them not to join college again. However, as mentioned before, it would be better to finish up a degree rather than dropout midway through. Therefore, it is essential that plans of returning to college be made prior to taking a year off. This isn’t to say that one must graduate from college to obtain a good job. Wealthy individuals like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropped out of college to pursue their own interests and found success outside the classroom. Though they are the definite exceptions, countless entrepreneurs make a decent living without finishing college as well. Therefore, the fourth option to fighting off student debt is simply to stop taking loans, which usually means to stop going to class. If you change your mind down the road, college will still be available. Granted, it will be tough to get back into the swing of things, but will always be an option. In fact, with online classes available, more adults are finishing their degrees without having to deal with the apprehensions of entering a classroom again. However, if college is a must, there are still ways to ensure that your debt doesn’t get out of control. Paid summer internships are a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone and should be your first consideration. Not only are you making money, but you are also gaining experience. The money gained can be saved for tuition costs and help relieve debt, and the experience will build your resume, increasing the chances of obtaining better jobs. A summer job serves the same purpose minus the flashy title of internship. You can make money and build a resume with work experience. The only difference is that a job may not be within the field of study that you are seeking a degree. However, if you want to be a veterinarian and can secure a job at a local vet clinic, it would be just as valuable as a paid internship somewhere. Sometimes it is best to heed Shakespeare’s advice and think,“What’s in a name?”
duggan: see page 53
14monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
print story by Frannie Sprouls
Hidden costs escalate student debt with expenses first-time students may not be prepared for: textbooks, student fees, utilities, groceries and more
urious incoming freshmen open the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Web page to determine how much they expect to pay for one year of schooling. Three total costs are available: resident, non-resident and international student costs. Just below the boxes, in italics, they are informed the totals do “not include books and supplies, transportation, or miscellaneous expenses.” So just how much can a student expect to spend during the course of a school year beyond tuition and housing? During the 2011-2012 school year, resident students paid an estimated $16,296 solely on tuition, fees and room and board. Non-residents paid $28,580. But there is much more than writing a check to UNL to ensure a quality education.
Tuition is a hefty price without loans or scholarships. Along with tuition, there are various student fees and paying for housing, depending on if the students live on campus. Loans and scholarships are available for each of those payments, but what about miscellaneous costs? Incoming students don’t usually account for these because many have not lived on their own. And those costs can rack up quickly, especially if parents aren’t there to provide an allowance each week. One of those costs is a necessity for passing classes: textbooks. Textbooks can range from $5 paperbacks for an English class to $200 for one chemistry book. Some students spend close to $1,000 per academic year on textbooks alone, depending on major and how many books are required for the class. Stephanie Rubenthaler, a sophomore pre-nursing
Students should definitely account for where their money goes and have a budget per week. ”
freshman english major
major, spent $400 on textbooks last semester. “I don’t understand how a book could be $200,” Rubenthaler said. “I try to look at other sites, but they don’t normally have (the required books).” Branching out to other vendors such as Amazon or Chegg for cheaper textbook rentals provide more affordable options than the University Bookstore. Rubenthaler said prices at the University Bookstore get pretty
expensive and not much money is saved when the book is returned at the end of the semester. But textbook prices can be the least of students’ worries. Students don’t always have the option of remaining on their parents’ cellphone plans or health insurance. Individual cellphone plans average about $90 per month; Smartphone plans are even more. Health insurance, if purchased through the University Health Center, costs $1,550 per year. Those living off campus face electricity and other utility bills, Internet and cable bills and buying groceries each week. While many on-campus students don’t have to buy groceries, those who live in The Courtyards or The Village can opt out of the meal plan offered by University Housing. Chelsea Walz, a junior business management major and resident of The Village, opted out of the meal plan for grocery shopping instead. Until she began buying her own groceries, Walz said she never realized how expensive it could be. “I refuse to live on a diet of Ramen noodles and mac and cheese, so I’m sure I spend more a week on groceries and eating out than other people,”Walz said. “I can tell you what stores have the most affordable produce, something I couldn’t have told you before when my mom did all the shopping and I wasn’t forced to be so observant.” Walz, whose parents are paying for her student bills, textbooks and housing, said she is lucky to be in the financial situation she is in. She holds a job at Von Maur to pay for groceries, along with other expenses such as clothes and entertainment. Groceries aren’t as big of an issue with students living in the traditional residence halls. Dining halls are available every day of the week, but snacks come in handy during movie or study nights. For Kristin Sauma, coffee is her wallet’s weakness. The freshman English major buys herself coffee three to four times a week because the coffee in the dining halls is terrible, she said with a laugh. Knowing her weakness for coffee, Sauma makes sure to budget her spending for each week to avoid overspending her limit. “Students should definitely account for where their money goes and have a budget per week,” Sauma said. “It should be flexible, but have some money set aside just in case.” One item weighing heavily on many UNL students’ minds each year is football season tickets. Season tickets for the 2011 season cost $152 before tax. This year, student season tickets cost $161. Rubenthaler said she bought student football tickets this year, but it’s the only sport she buys tickets for. “I think it’s worth it,” she said. “You may as well take advantage of it.” The miscellaneous costs outside of paying for tuition, fees and room and board appear intimidating for those starting their freshman year. Or the costs might not cross their mind. Students should save their money because at the end of the year, there won’t be much in their bank account, Rubenthaler said. “Money definitely disappears faster,” she said. “You don’t know how much you spend until you get the bill.” This can be true for students who use their NCard at the Nebraska Union’s fast food vendors or the University Bookstore. NCards are also used at the snack shops and C-stores across campus. Many students use their NCards because it is easier and it is always with them. “Try not to use it,” Rubenthaler said. “It’s tempting.” franniesprouls@ dailynebraskan.com
monday, aPril 23, 2012
HIDDEN COSTS OF EDUCATION
The cost of college extends beyond tuition, fees and room and board. Students pay out of pocket for a cup of coffee every morning, monthly cellphone bills and sporting event tickets, as well as other costs students accrue in just one year of school. No scholarships were taken into account when calculating the estimated tuition and fees.
2011-2012 In-state estimated costs Tuition $208.25 per credit hour Fees $1,400 Room and board $8,648 Total $16,296 2011-2012 Out-of-state estimated costs Tuition $617.75 per credit hour Fees $1,400 Room and board $8,648 Total $28,580 Miscellaneous costs Resident/commuter $378 per year parking permit Textbooks $1,000 per year Health insurance $1,550 per year Sports tickets (football, $324 per year basketball and volleyball) Laundry (two loads per week) $320 per year Laptop computer and accessories $1,500 Cellphone $90 per month Coffee (five cups per week) $480 per year Snacks $10 per week In-state total: $22,928 Out-of-state total: $35,212
16monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
Questions of equivalency Track and field struggles to allocate small number of scholarships
he deck is stacked against Gary Pepin. Nebraska’s track and field coach manages a program that has to allocate a small number of scholarships among a large team, all while sharing scholarships with cross country, the only sport that fields an NCAA championship but doesn’t offer scholarships. NCAA rules regulate 18 scholarships for women’s track and field and 12 1/2 scholarships for men. The scholarships are based on a percentage of the student’s tuition. For a sport like football or basketball, where the number of scholarships far exceeds the number of positions, it isn’t difficult to offer the best players in the country full-ride
scholarships. Track, on the other hand, has to find athletes to compete in as many as 22 events on both the men’s and women’s side. Pepin, just like track coaches nationwide, gives out partial scholarships to numerous athletes, but the money only goes so far. Ultimately, many of NU’s track and field athletes wind up paying their own way through school. “We’re trying to get people to come to school here for zero and pay out of state tuition and/or come here for peanuts, for just practically nothing,” Pepin said. When Pepin started at Nebraska 32 years ago, NU had a policy in place allowing out-of-state students to gain instate tuition status by obtaining a Nebraska driver’s license
after living in-state for six months. Pepin said approximately 15 years ago, the university passed a measure removing the exemption from the books in an attempt to prevent graduate students from taking advantage of the rule. “When that policy was passed, it had an absolute disaster effect on (equivalency sports),” Pepin said. “That has really, really hurt us in recruiting.” If Pepin wanted to convince athletes to join Nebraska on a non-scholarship or partial-scholarship basis, the price would be higher and the chances would be lower. Some schools decided to keep similar policies to the one Nebraska got rid of. Other schools, like Arkansas, which consistently produces top-ranked track teams, formed reciprocal
Senior Bjorn Barrefors is one of 16 international students on the 111-member track and field squad. Under NCAA rules, the Huskers are allowed 12 1/2 scholarships for the men’s side.
Title IX deserves re-examining story by Chris Peters file photo by Morgan Spiehs agreements with other states. Sixteen states, stretching from Texas to Delaware, make up the Academic Common Market. The ACM is a program that allows students to attend universities in member states for discounted tuition rates, so long as the student is studying in one of 1,900 select degree programs in the 16 member states. Nebraska is a part of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, along with seven other regional states, which limits nonresident tuition to 150 percent the cost of in-state tuition in select degree programs. While NU can offer out-of-state tuition relief, the discounts for Midwestern schools such as Nebraska aren’t as favorable as Southeastern schools like Arkansas. “We have brought in hundreds of students to the University of Nebraska, paying all the money they have to pay over there,” Pepin said. “We would even bring more of them in and more great students in if there was ever a chance to get an in-state waiver. “We can go down the line with the majority of these schools. We can whoop these schools on the opportunities for track and field here versus there. We can’t beat them when it comes to the cost of going to school there.” One school Pepin does have a leg up on, though, is fellow-Big Ten school Michigan. The average cost of out-of-state tuition at Michigan is $37,782, nearly twice the amount of Nebraska’s. “We’re not getting the number of outof-state kids coming in on minimal or no scholarships that we did 10 years ago, and that’s due to the cost of education,” said Mike McGuire, the Michigan women’s cross country coach. “They don’t even incur debt because they don’t take it on in the first place, and honestly I don’t blame them.” Just like other students, track athletes are eligible for academic scholarships and need-based scholarships, which help lighten the burden. Still, those accommodations are made at nearly every school, and it’s the schools with the highest tuition and the least amount of tuition waivers that ultimately suffer. “For us, our cost of attendance for out-ofstate is an inherent disadvantage,” McGuire said. “Nebraska is a much more affordable school for out-of-state than Michigan is. That’s just reality.” And it shows on the track. Between
track: see page 47
here are very few taboo subjects in America today. Was Abraham Lincoln attracted to men? Is our national anthem really the best we can do? Should Title IX be changed? It is the latter subject that currently needs examining, despite many feminists considering it base misogyny to even consider changes in the 40-year-old law. To start, keep in mind that Title IX was never intended to be an athletics bill. Part of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the 37-word law was originally intended to promote the hiring of women at federally funded universities, as part of a bill introducing Pell grants. The Department of Human Education and Welfare interpreted Title IX for college sports in 1979 and, 40 years later, college is a completely different landscape. There are now many more women undergraduates than men, and what used to be a 5.5-to-1 male to female athlete ratio has become 1.3-to1. Women are making more gains this decade, as they now have much more disposable income than 40 years ago, and many more women’s athletics programs to support with that money. They don’t — attendance at women’s sporting events at the professional and collegiate level lags far behind men’s programs, even if football is not taken into account. Let’s just say it’s no wonder it isn’t easy to find the attendance numbers for the Nebraska women’s tennis team. In fact, the women’s tennis team is a great lens to view Title IX flaws through. Mary Weatherholt is the only American on the team, playing alongside five Germans, a Slovakian and a Finn. According to findthedata.org, the women’s tennis team had a larger budget than the men’s tennis team (by $100,000) and lost $613,631. What exactly does the state of Nebraska gain from that money? NU can educate 40 women for that kind of money but instead, they educate eight. There is a disconnect between Title IX’s laudable ideal of women athletes rising to an equal level as male athletes in college and the reality of the situation: men are not willing to support women’s athletics, and it seems women are not either. I brought that disconnect up to a professor I respect, who considers herself a feminist, and she said the reason is because of our patriarchal society’s social engineering of women’s athletics as trivial. I brought the disconnect up to a colleague’s girlfriend, and she suggested women’s sports, especially basketball, are just dull to watch compared to their male offerings. I suppose the answer is somewhere in the middle.
There’s definitely misogyny in how men view women’s sports — Maria Sharapova was the top-earning female athlete in the world (at around $15 million) for the seventh straight year, despite winning one major in the last three years. Much of her money comes from endorsements, which are more about her beauty than her career Grand Slams. Other truly famous female athletes, from Danica Patrick and Anna Kournikova to Mia Hamm and Lindsey Vonn, are invariably beautiful and can make more from marketing their beauty than from earnings on the field or track. No matter how good Brittney Griner is, she won’t be featured in too many Gatorade commercials. That’s a shame, as there is an incredible world of women’s sports out there, in the high school, college and professional levels. Personally, watching Abby Wambach do her thing on the pitch at last summer’s World Cup was one of my favorite sports moments of the summer. Maybe one of NU’s current soccer players will have the same opportunity one day, but Title IX isn’t the reason why she would. If you believe the rhetoric, there is no middle ground to this argument: only misogynist pigs on one side and bra-burning femi-Nazis on the other. Repealing Title IX, despite the warnings of many feminists, will not destroy women’s athletics as we know them. John Cook, Rhonda Revelle, John Walker and Connie Yori have enough support to keep their programs going without government mandates, and Tom Osborne, a former politician, would never cut all women’s sports. There would be changes, of course. Maybe the golf team doesn’t play a tournament in Puerto Rico anymore. Maybe Yori isn’t off to Scandanavia in the summer and maybe Cook says no to an invitation from Hawaii next time. The teams and educational opportunities would still be there for women and men, so long as the college community in which they reside wants them to be. Politics enters this discussion as well. Many Title IX proponents are also women’s rights supporters. Those groups are currently under attack from all sides, from personhood bills and anti-family planning advocacy to repeals of equal pay laws. To many of them, Title IX must feel like another front in a war that seeks to take back all the progress they have earned over the past 50 years. It is an understandable thought. Many Americans have priorities of a different sort: They want an end to unnecessary government regulation and to make sure that each taxpayer dollar is well spent. While Nebraska’s athletics budget isn’t technically taxpayer money (it’s complicated), eventually Nebraskans will see these budget numbers and wonder if there isn’t a better use of $613,631 than fielding a tennis team that may have no Americans on it next year. And there is. Of course, I may be naive: that “better use” could turn out to be a high-definition television set inside every locker of the football complex. It could be that employment opportunities for women in college athletics shrink even further and that recruiting budgets, per diems and medical care for female athletes suffer. National Organization for Women might get a nice “told-you-so” moment. The solution is not to repeal or destroy Title IX but instead to shift its enforcement. Instead of putting the emphasis on quantity of sports and athletes, it should
There is a disconnect between Title IX’s laudable ideal of women athletes rising to an equal level as male athletes in college.
whalen: see page 50
18monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
education for hire
Humanities take a hit as economic downturn forces shift of focus to vocational studies; analytics and professional skills prove essential to job preparation
story by Chance Solem-Pfeifer
or all the living in the moment that’s associated with the college experience, a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln student can likely count the minutes on one hand until in his or her freshman convocation speaker addresses the future, its imminent challenges and the role of the university in preparing students for grander endeavors. How UNL and our nation’s universities define or implicitly define those challenges and endeavors, though, is in question. What manner of jobs and life experiences are UNL undergraduates being prepared for? In an ailing economy, many argue that the role of institutions of higher learning has become more vocational than ever — promoting only degrees that translate directly into work in a specific field — as a perceived stepping stone to financial security in a dangerous economic climate. “It’s sad that we have reduced education only to (vocational pursuits),” said Cesare Casarino, a professor of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. Casarino spoke at UNL earlier this month as part of the Humanities on the Edge lecture series, a cross-discplinary
speaker series coordinated through the Department of English. “One of the things that makes us unique as human beings is the common capacities; thought, capacity of language, affect,” he said. “Education is about these things.” Marco Abel, an associate professor of English and Film Studies, is the co-founder and co-director of Humanities on the Edge and speculated that a turn toward more vocational preparation at UNL and elsewhere transcends the economic downturn of 2008. “My sense is based on impressionistic observation rather than empirical evidence, but I’d say as a culture, the United States has in the last two decades been hugely affected by the increasing economization of life ... and by an unprecedented attention it has given to economic matters,” he said. Still, in light of this shift, Abel did not express shock at the exclusive focus on vocational degrees of many undergraduates. “With an economic downturn as severe as we’ve experienced in the last decade, it’s no surprise and it’s also understandable that young men and women who come to UNL
or most any university in this country are affected by this all-pervasive concern with economic matters, which for them most immediately manifests itself in the question of ‘getting a job,’” he said. This may mean students are choosing majors earlier and branching out less. A drop in freshmen enrolling in the Division of General Studies (from 1,089 in the fall of 2007 to 802 in the fall of 2009 and back up to 891 in fall 2011 according to the UNL Institutional Research & Planning 2011-2012 Fact Book) may mean that students are taking less time to explore the range of classes and fields that UNL offers, a decision that in the experience of Alex Claussen, a sophomore history and philosophy major, would be a mistake. Claussen began his academic career at UNL as a music education major then switched to English, history and political science and then again to history, French, medieval and renaissance studies, international studies and European
academic: see page 55
story by Rachel Staats
o many, especially in today’s economic climate, getting a Master of Fine Arts is best left to the dreamers. Offering purely artistic degrees, MFA programs differ from their Master of Arts counterparts by providing graduate students with more practice than an MA, which focuses on academics and critical study. While an MFA can provide students with hands-on work in their art of choice, many people worry that these advanced degrees may not be worth the cost, or the average debts accumulated for graduate programs. For those who do decide to get an MFA, professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln say most students should not attend unless their expenses are paid. “Don’t take out a loan to get an MFA,” said Benjamin Vogt, a lecturer in the English department. At UNL, MFA programs are few and far between. Although degrees are awarded nationally in a number of areas — visual arts, creative writing, filmmaking, dance, theater and performing arts — MFA programs at UNL have barely cracked that list. Students who attend UNL have the option of specializing in 10 fields for their MFA, covering two fields of fine arts: applied art and theater art. Even in those areas, choices are limited. Since 2002, the areas of study offered at UNL have been ceramics, drawing, graphic design, new genres, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, stage design and directing for stage and screen. Unlike many other schools, UNL does not offer a focus in creative writing, instead offering the non-terminal MA. Vogt described the MFA program he attended at Ohio State University as “Advanced Networking 101.” A major aspect of MFA programs is the vast number of contacts graduate students can make to help advance their writing careers, including publication and acceptance to Ph.D. programs, as well as simply meeting other writers. But more than just networking, Vogt said, the real value of an MFA is that it gives you the time to perfect your craft. “Do an MFA program because you want to write,” he said. “Not because you want to get a book published or become famous and not because you want a job.” Other graduates of MFA programs agreed, saying that the only reason to get an MFA is to garner more experience in your field of study. “You should be sure you really want to be a writer,” said Jennifer Bryan, a graduate instructor in the English department. “It doesn’t translate to anything else.” Bryan said a common sentiment she has heard from professors and others with MFAs and Ph.D.s is that people need to be certain they want to study in a particular field before they make the kind of commitment an MFA entails. “If you can be something else, be something else,” she said, repeating that an MFA is only useful for the experience it provides and may not help graduates land a job. But for some, like Bryan herself, arts are the only path they are willing to take.
Masters of Fine Arts programs offer chance to hone skills, but come with a high price tag and risk of unemployment
“An MFA is the last resort for people who cannot live with- shows seriousness. It shows commitment.” In the end, though, Vogt said the MFA is first and foremost out writing,” Bryan said. The Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film has two about learning a skill. “If a teaching job comes along, it’s more like icing on the fields of study in which graduate students can acquire an MFA. cake,” he said. The Directing for Stage and Screen program is one of the two. For many people, an MFA may not be the road, but Virginia Smith, associate professor of acting and directVogt, Harris Smith, Bryan and Virginia Smith made it ing and head of graduate and undergraduate directing, said she believes the graduate program is a way for students to clear that if fame and fortune is your end-game, an MFA may not be for you. develop the skills they think they will need in their future “If you want to be lauded and get a book published, careers. forget it,” Vogt said. “MFAs are apprentice time.” “It’s very much, ‘What do you want out of this? What Many acting students may want to consider what they skill sets do you want?’” Smith said. “It’s very much their want from the business before they journey.” apply to graduate school, Harris She added that this idea of honing skills Smith said. Most film students are in through years of practice is what MFA their undergraduate program to beprograms are all about, but they offer othcome a film actor, but for this kind of er benefits, as well. work, Harris Smith said, an MFA is “A lot of programs you get the oppornot required. tunity whether you want it or not to be a He said more people go to school teacher,” Vogt said. “There’s a billion skill when the economy is in a downturn, sets that come from that.” because it allows them to be relativeBut in many cases, different areas of ly sequestered while they learn new study demand MFAs louder than others. skills to become more marketable. “In acting, it’s not particularly necesBut the economic downturn has sary,” she said. “It depends on their talent. also caused many theaters to close It’s less easy for somebody to be a director their doors, Harris Smith said. Because (without getting an MFA).” of this, going to graduate school is a Harris Smith, an associate professor good way for actors and directors to of acting at the Johnny Carson School of wait out the economic storm. Theatre and Film, agreed that acting is one While many professors suggest stufield where an MFA is not always necesBenjamin Vogt dents not go to school for an MFA unsary. english department lecturer less they can get funding for it, Harris “Some of the best actors are self-starters Smith believes waiting for better opand they don’t have MFAs,” Harris Smith portunities may not be the best option. said. “In some ways, it’s unfortunate that some people will He initially acquired his MFA in acting to gain more training than he felt he could get elsewhere, but halfway through never reach their full potential because they made that choice,” Harris Smith said. the program he found out he really enjoyed teaching. Some prestigious schools though, like several Ivy League “It was wonderful and rewarding,” Harris Smith said. “I institutions, don’t give financial assistance to their MFA stufound something else I was passionate about.” In the past, MFAs were the terminal degree in many dents. Smith said turning an offer like that down because of a lack of funding may be a mistake, because even being awarded fields, including English, which is why so many instructors such an offer is a mark of recognized promise. had them instead of Ph.D.s. Bryan, on the other hand, said students may find the path “As more programs opened up, the market became really difficult if they want to be in the arts without an MFA. saturated with MFAs,” Bryan said. “You can get there without the MFA, but it’s going to take When this happened, many programs added a Ph.D. you longer,” she said. component to their fields. Now, many suspect their usefulBut whatever students choose, he advised taking the necness, especially in the field of teaching, may be in decline. essary steps, Harris Smith prescribed taking the necessary According to Bryan, creative writing MFA programs don’t steps to accomplish specific goals. market themselves as teaching opportunities, but only claim “When people are looking at an MFA, they just need to to help people become better writers. Now, it’s often assumed find the program that fits them,” he said. students should chase a teaching job when they graduate with an MFA. rachelstaats@ “It does improve marketability for jobs,” Vogt said. “It dailynebraskan.com
Do an MFA program because you want to write, not because you want to get a book published or become famous and not because you want a job.
faces of debt
22monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
Former ASUN president credits high school senior year scholarship applications with helping him graduate without debt obligations
Scarcity of debt-free students signals flaws in public school system
story by Jacy Marmaduke Zach Smith
hen Lane Carr was 7 years old, his parents threw the family a party to celebrate a milestone: They had finally finished paying off their student loans.
Carr will never have such a party. When the senior political science and history major graduates in May, he’ll do so without the weight of loan repayment on his shoulders. Carr will graduate debt-free. He did it with scholarships. Thirteen of them, to be exact. Carr started filling out applications his senior year of high school and spent hours writing essays, requesting recommendation letters and sending transcripts. He even had to pull out an old-fashioned typewriter for one application. He said it was worth it. “Scholarships suck to do,” Carr said. “They’re very time-intensive, but the amount of time and energy you put in is minimal compared to the amount of return.” Carr was granted awards as large as the Peter Kiewit Legacy Scholarship, with a maximum four-year worth of $30,000, and as small as his six $250 one-timers. The grand total covered the entirety of his tuition costs for all four years. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think (his tuition) would be totally paid for,” said Carr’s mother, Gerry. “We were hoping that he’d get some good help, but we weren’t anticipating 100 percent.” He said his background as a three-sport athlete with involvement in at least seven other extracurricular activities helped him out, as did a solid GPA. Although Carr said his family could afford to make contributions to his education, without his scholarships he would likely have taken out loans. Carr wanted to do what he could to avoid that outcome. “Going into the workforce with no debt is huge for me, because I will be able to start saving for the first time and investing for the first time,” Carr said. “And that’s due in part to me working hard my senior year of high school.”
carr: see page 50
ere’s an example of how not to start a conversation with a college student: Person A: “Hi! Good to see you again! Hey, how much debt will you have when you graduate?” Person B, probably somewhat awkwardly: “Uh, $21,227.” (This is the average student debt in Nebraska.) Person A: “Oh, really? That’s too bad. I’m really happy — I’m graduating debt free!” Person B: (glares) Being debt-free in college is the classic “rich-person” or “FirstWorld” problem. Even telling close friends can be an awkward conversation. It’s a tremendous blessing that far outweighs others’ resentment — but it is a curse, too. I was asked to write this column because I’m one of those debt-free students. You can feel free to hate me. You might already. Student debt is a giant issue facing our nation today. We’re just barely out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate, while not as high as Europe’s, still hovers over 8 percent. A bachelor’s degree isn’t the instant-job-guarantee it used to be. And a high school diploma? Forget about it. Students enter the workforce today with little-to-no incentive to take low-paying jobs, such as teaching, because of a mountain of debt. Tuition increases, seemingly guaranteed to be 5 percent a year, are the norm, not the exception. State legislatures are handcuffed by constitutions barring them from deficit spending to support priorities such as education in the midst of recession. Congress is gridlocked and couldn’t provide help even if it wanted to. What are students to do? In today’s system, there seem to be three types of debt-free students. I don’t wish to unnecessarily generalize, but when we see
these groups, we’ll understand a bit more while being debt-free is so damn hard today. Group No. 1 is the poor. And not just the poor — the honestto-God, below the poverty line, extremely poor. But you can’t just be poor: A poor student who wants to graduate debt-free must be extremely intelligent. Pell Grants, though a well-intentioned mechanism, can only defray the cost of college by a few thousand dollars each year. What’s a few thousand dollars, when a three-credit outof-state tuition course at Nebraska costs more than $1,800? If you’re really poor and really smart, colleges will fall all over themselves to get at your coveted demographic. You might be a firsttime college student! Ivy League universities such as Yale and Harvard offer tuition waivers, and more, for their low-income qualified applicants. Next group: the wealthy. I’m not going to start up this 1 percent, 99 percent fight in my column, because it’s more than the 1 percent who can afford to fund its kids’ educations. If mom and dad make enough money, and decide it’s in their best interest to pay for the child’s college, that child graduates debt-free, hands down. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless you think that spoils a kid, like my parents. I’m excluding from this group another important demographic: Parents who don’t make enough to support their children in college, but do so anyway through loans. We’ll touch on this group in a bit. Group No. 3 and the last swath of debt-free students: the “smart” kids. I put “smart” in quotes, because at age 15 or 16, you might only appear to be intelligent. Colleges will put down good money as a bet that you’ll be successful, but they very well could be wrong. This group includes the Regents’ Scholars in Nebraska (and a warm congratulations to all my friends who’ve won the Regents) and the National Merit and National Hispanic Scholarships. Another reason to put “smart” in quotes: National Merit operates on the PSAT test. If you score high enough — that is, if you are good at standardized test taking — you’re named a commended student, then a semi-finalist, then
smith: see page 50
24monday, April 23, 2012
MedicalBills Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
story by Dan Holtmeyer photos by Matt Masin
ABOVE: Barnhill tests enzymes in his lab. The testing of the enzymes helps detect cancer at an earlier time.
Andrew Barnhill, a junior nutrition and health sciences major, expects to graduate with $200,000 of debt. Barnhill donates plasma to make extra money, and participate in Celerion medical tests. Barnhill spends much of his time in his lab on the sixth floor of Hamilton Hall.
ABOVE: Barnhill does homework while waiting for his enzymes to mix. Along with homework, Barnhill surfs Reddit and other sites to pass the time while his enzymes mix.
RIGHT: Barnhill’s lab equipment consists of many things, like beakers, bottles, scales and a machine that shakes enzymes together at fast rates for hours at a time.
Medical-school hopeful struggles to make a dent in $200,000 of expected debt when spending 12 hours a day studying
ot many careers begin $200,000 in the hole. That’s about what’s in store, however, for Andrew Barnhill, a junior nutrition and health sciences major, and anyone else studying for his or her MCAT and headed to medical school. “It’s going to be kind of rough,” Barnhill said with an ironic laugh. “It definitely feels like I’d have my head underwater for a while.” His undergraduate finances already are daunting, but typical. Barnhill has relied almost completely on loans, from both the federal government and private lenders, since transferring from William Jewell College in Missouri. His parents had agreed to
help with the first year, and he had a soccer scholarship, Barnhill said. He came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln the next year — the price was cut in half, but Barnhill was on his own to pay for it. The end result is a likely $25,000 of debt, right in line with the national student average and just the tip of the iceberg for a medical hopeful like Barnhill. He plans on applying to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which seems like the best bargain. Standard price tag of this bargain: $200,000, more or less evenly split into four years.
“We’re probably right on the same playing field as our peer institutions,” said Judi Walker, director of UNMC’s Financial Aid Office. “Close to $100,000 of the student loans they borrow is for living expenses.” Barnhill’s already getting an unexpected taste of living expenses, he said, and his college savings were depleted by a broken wrist and a torn ACL, all in a period of two weeks during his sophomore year. “The whole semester he could not work,” Barnhill’s mom, Amy Barnhill, said in a phone interview from Blair. “That forced us to take money out of that (college) account.” The Barnhills also have a second son, Nathan, who just started at UNL.
So Barnhill trims where he can, he said, cooking his own food, getting meat from his dad’s business, renting a house with two roommates and using a bike and a cheap, fuel-efficient car to get around. “He has learned to embrace poverty,” Barnhill’s mom said with a laugh,“which was kind of the advice we gave him.” A job is largely out of the question again this year because Barnhill is often on campus for 12 hours a day or more studying for the MCAT and doing biomedical research with a professor. Summer will bring an unpaid internship in Dominica as well, Barnhill said, helping at sports camps for children. Medical school will bring more of the same critical need for
loans as a source of funding, with students too busy with school and studies to earn money anywhere else, said Walker, the financial aid director from UNMC. “It’s something they have to accept if they don’t have other resources to support them,” she said. “Your life revolves around studying and getting it done.” Barnhill appeared to have that mindset already, with everything directed to his end goal. “Gotta spend money to make money,” Barnhill said.“(I) kind of have to go with the system on this one.” He has also turned to more unorthodox ways of making money. Donating plasma nets him a little more than $50 per
week. Medical studies for companies like Celerion have paid about $2,000 to $3,000, Barnhill said, and don’t bring the dreaded side effects of urban legend. “People think you’re going to grow a third arm or something,” Barnhill said. “They get such a bad rep — they’re just boring. They feed you and they take a blood sample.” The studies typically take about a weekend, he said, and are “easy, easy money” that immediately flows to tuition and living expenses. All of this — the studying, the pharmacological studies, the
barnhill: see page 52
26monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
Never out of
Gass For advertising major, budgeting and planning key to maintaining three jobs, full course load and social life story by Shelby Fleig photos by Andrew Dickinson ABOVE: David Gass, a sophomore advertising major, poses for a portrait in the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 23rd and O streets. Gass fully supports himself by working three jobs, and has been working since he was 14. far RIGHT: Gass poses for a portrait in one of the upper floor rooms of the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 23rd and O streets. Supporting himself includes paying $7,000 in tuition and $1,200 in fraternity dues every year.
avid Gass hasn’t asked his parents for money in six years.
At 14, he worked at both Burger King and McDonald’s in Omaha for extra money. Now 20, Gass, a full-time student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, works three jobs, but admits to not having much extra to spend. He pays his own tuition, more than $7,000 a year, and Kappa Sigma fraternity dues, about $1,200 a year. “For sure, it’s stressful at times,” he said. “It’s stressful to pay rent. Taking out loans isn’t fun, but I’m still having a great time.” Gass is a brand ambassador for Lenovo, a multinational technology company with American headquarters in North Carolina. Gass promotes the brand by meeting with other campus representatives to create promotions and speaks to campus groups and clubs about Lenovo products. “They estimate about ten hours a week to get everything done, but it usually takes me less time because I’ve done this stuff so much before,” Gass said. Lenovo sent Gass a computer that he gets to keep after the semester job is over and he will receive a $1,000 stipend at the end of the semester. Gass works nine hours a week as a hasher, preparing meals and cleaning dishes, at the Pi Beta Phi sorority house. “The main reason I got that job is because it’s free meals on campus,” he said. Gass works as a hasher three nights a week. Gass said he loved the job because it’s “super chill” and he is friends with the girls in the house. “He’s easy to work with and he’s so kind,” said Dana Clark, the Pi Beta Phi house mother. “He’s kind of a throwback. He’s respectful of the work environment, he
has a good attitude and he’s a nice person.” Summers don’t bring much of a break for Gass, either. He is training for a full-time summer management internship at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. And last summer, he worked full-time as a brand representative for CBS Sports Network. Most college students struggle to manage their academic responsibilities and social life. Gass adds more than 20 hours of work each week to the equation without breaking a sweat. “If we hadn’t talked about it before, I would have no idea he worked so much,” said Spencer Kerl, the president of Kappa Sigma at UNL. “David just works his butt off, but he’s just so laid back and personable.” Gass, a sophomore advertising major, said he always gets his schoolwork done early in the week, so he can go out on the weekends. “I always have to have something done at a set time, so I get all my stuff done early in the week because I know Thursday, Friday and Saturday I’m not going to do anything productive,” Gass said. Weekend fun is important to Gass for balancing his work endeavors, but his grades don’t suffer as a result. “I’m getting a decent GPA with no problems,” he said. “I’m not failing any classes and rarely get anything lower than a B or C. I know I could do better, but I just want to have a good time, honestly.” Kappa Sigma requires members to maintain a set GPA, but Kerl said Gass has never had a problem keeping up. “I think a lot of David’s motivation is personal, just to work hard for himself,” Kerl said. “Really the quality of our chapter is that, with most guys, we don’t have to throw the GPA requirements out in front of them and say, ‘You need to accomplish this.’ They just do it on their own, and that’s especially true for David.” Gass said some of the motivation comes from his mother, Marney Gass, to whom he is extremely close.
“There are no boundaries with her,” Gass said. “We’re really close — some people think it’s weird that I tell her everything.” Gass said he never wanted to depend on his mom for money. Being a single mom, she has her own struggles, but remains laid back like her son. “She gets stressed at times just because of financial situations, but she’s real tight ... everybody likes her a lot,” Gass said. Marney Gass lost her job a while ago, and it took some time to find another that paid enough. “I feel like she would have been able to help me out more if she didn’t have that financial problem, but I’ve always just been independent,” Gass said. Because he is making and spending all of his own money, seeing other college kids burn through their parent’s money is always an unwelcome sight for Gass. “It annoys me when people are constantly using their parent’s credit card — that’s what really pisses me off,” Gass said. “It also annoys me a lot when people brag about how much money they have. Not because I’m jealous, but because I know they didn’t work for it.” Gass is currently budgeting his money for a new car this summer, something he has thought about a lot. “Most people just get a car handed to them,” Gass said. The recession has played a role in Gass’s finances, but he said he imagines he would have to work even if the economy was stronger. Still, that’s not a problem. Gass couldn’t recall a single time he felt unfairly burdened with work. “It’s pointless to have self-pity and stuff like that,” Gass said.“I have to go to work and get money otherwise I won’t be able to pay for stuff. It’s a necessity. It’s not a question of do I like it or do I not like it. I have to do it and get on with my life.”
gass: see page 47
monday, aPril 23, 2012
28monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
under one roof
Students opt to move back in with parents after freshman year to alleviate housing costs
story by Cara Wilwerding
ollege is a time of freedom and independence. It’s a time for students to meet new friends, discover new talents and finally — live on their own. But some students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln forgo this freedom and independence by continuing to live in their parents’ home. There are a number of reasons students choose to stay home, including costs, comfort and convenience. Carson McNeil, a junior music education major, decided to move back home after spending two years on campus. “I had already done the dorm thing and got that experience,” McNeil said. “My house in Lincoln is really close to campus and free.” McNeil opted to move back in with her mom and sister in the hopes of boosting her savings account. Because she is no longer paying room and board, McNeil only has to worry about the cost of downtown parking lots. “If she was going to stay in the dorms, it would be an extra I-don’t-know-how-many thousand dollars a year,” said McNeil’s mother, Karen Sandene. While McNeil now experiences a lower cost of living, she is also noticing major difference between living at home instead of on campus. Driving to class is the biggest change McNeil noted. She also said the amount of time spent with friends and peers has decreased. “I eat dinner with my mom and sister, rather than 200 college students,” McNeil said. “You spend more time alone and with your family, rather than people your own age.” According to Housing director Sue Gildersleeve, students decide to live at home for a few major reasons. The first reason, of course, is money. “It’s hard to say that you could live on campus less expensively than living at home,” Gildersleeve said. A traditional residence hall room with a seven-day meal plan in Abel or Sandoz costs $8,647 per year. The same room in Neihardt is about $200 cheaper, and Pound is nearly $600 cheaper. Junior English major Kaytlyn Mulinix also lives at home to save money. She studied abroad in Ireland last semester and said she now needs to replenish her savings account. “Taking bills, rent and groceries into consideration, I’d say I easily save $700 a month by living at home,” Mulinix said. Like McNeil, Mulinix thinks the daily commute to class is the biggest inconvenience of living at home. However, she doesn’t miss the extra rules and requirements of on-campus housing, such as midnight checkins. Despite the check-in procedure and the costs of oncampus housing, Gildersleeve urges parents to think carefully about on-campus housing, especially at the beginning of a student’s college experience. “Even if it’s not feasible to live on campus all four years, it’s important your freshman year,” Gildersleeve said. “Starting college is a big change in a person’s life compared to going to high school.You want your college experience to be different and living on campus makes sure that happens.” Living on campus helps students become more engaged in student life than they would be living at home, Gildersleeve said. Being on campus makes study groups and group projects easier to plan and also provides
convenience for social activities. “You’re far more likely to go with a group of friends to the rec and play a pick-up game or hit a few balls on the tennis courts just spur of the moment,” Gildersleeve said. “That’s just a lot less likely to happen if you have gone home for the day.” Sandene said she recognized the importance of living on campus, but also said things have changed since she was in college. Along with taking a full course load, Sandene worked 30 hours a week, eventually graduating with no debt. “The benefits of living at home are reasonable, even if it’s cramping your kid’s style,” Sandene said. “Who needs to graduate with thousands of dollars of student loans? It’s a nice cost-efficient option and if you need to do it, do it.” While Gildersleeve believes living on campus as a freshman is a simple decision, things change as students become upperclassmen. Moving back home after living on campus can be a big adjustment, in Gildersleeve’s opinion. After living away from home, students may not want to agree to chores, curfew and family meals, she said. “A student has been accustomed to coming and going on their own credentials,” Gildersleeve said.“I think students and parents just have to work that out and have a good, honest conversation about expectations.” McNeil said her mom is easygoing and living at home usually isn’t a problem. She helps out with household chores and, in turn, has no curfew. However, life at home almost feels like high school again and can be restricting at times, she said. “I live under my mom’s roof, so I still feel like I have to tell her where I’m going and what I’m doing,”McNeil said.“As an adult you don’t have to do that, but I feel like I kind of need to.” Sandene said she realizes that after living on campus for two years, McNeil is used to her independence. She said parents in her situation need to loosen the tight rein they may have had on their child in high school. “I don’t necessarily want to look over her shoulder or micromanage anything,”Sandene said.“But I do want to give her some space, because I had space when I was in college and I trust her to make good choices.” Mulinix has also learned to compromise with her parents at home. She does her own laundry and cooking. Mulinix has no set rules or curfew, but is expected to be considerate. “They are allowing me to live at home for free and their rules never cross over into my personal life,” Mulinix said. “They are there to be supporting parents, but they are not there to regulate my life or clean up my messes. They just want respect toward them and their home, and I am more than happy to oblige.” Planning to rent her own house next year, Mulinix is looking forward to complete independence. However, she said she is grateful for having understanding parents who allowed her to live at home for free. She advises students who are considering the move back home to be realistic. Living at home has benefits and drawbacks, and each situation is different. “If your parents tend to hover and worry and you want freedom, then it might not be the best decision,” Mulinix said.“It’s important to remember that it’s never going to feel like your place — it will always be your parents’.” carawilwerding@ dailynebraskan.com
monday, aPril 23, 2012
story by Cristina Woodworth | photos by Andrew Dickinson
Lincoln’s high price tag forces student to attend hometown colleges
Alec Brewer, a sophomore broadcasting major, poses for a portrait while looking through the screen door of his parents’ house in Omaha. Brewer is one of many college students who have to transfer or take community college classes to save money on college. He originally attended UNL, but now attends UNO.
lec Brewer loved a lot of things about the University of NebraskaLincoln. But the cost wasn’t one of them. Brewer, now a sophomore broadcasting major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, transferred from UNL this year because of the high price tag accompanying living on campus. “My parents said that living in Lincoln was too expensive because of the dorms and food costs,” said Brewer, who grew up in Omaha. “It was going to be easier to just live at home and go to UNO.” Brewer is one of many college students who are trying to lessen the financial burdens of higher education by moving back home, transferring schools or taking classes from a community college. Jayme Bristol, a junior pre-health major, decided to take several of her required classes at nearby Southeast Community College because of the lower tuition rates. “It’s cheaper (at SCC),” said Bristol, who is taking an anatomy class there and will begin a physiology course soon. “I have scholarships, but not enough to cover all of my tuition at Lincoln, so I have to pay some too.”
Brewer sits on the couch inside his parents’ living room, after politely taking his shoes off before stepping on the carpet.
Bristol balances her class load with two jobs to help pay for her own schooling. She works about 20 hours a week at a golf course and at the University Health Center. Bristol said she thinks UNL’s tuition rates seem fairly standard. “As far as a public university goes, I think they have pretty good rates,” she said. “I think our credit hours are overpriced, of course, but they are better than private colleges. I would never go to a private college just because of that.” The tuition cost for the 2011-2012 school year at SCC was $54 per credit hour for Nebraska residents and $66.50 for non-residents, according to its website. At UNL, Nebraska residents pay $208.25 per credit hour while non-residents pay $617.75. Bristol said the lower costs of SCC classes were too enticing not to take advantage of. She added she might have considered taking the classes at UNL, had she received more financial aid from the university. “I think it’s really sad how so much of our financial aid is based off of family income,” Bristol said. “My mom makes a good income, but she doesn’t help pay for school. She has her own stuff to pay for. So that sucks for me and other people like me.”
brewer: see page 52
Standing in the doorway to his parents’ house, Brewer poses for a portrait. A sophomore, he attended UNL until this year when he transferred back home to save on college costs.
30monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
an officer and a journalist
Student loans provide tough path to success
lacey mason former Dn opinion editor and unl graduate
Darlene Smith, Smith’s mother; Kris Knowlton, Smith’s boyfriend; and Blaine Smith, Smith’s father wait while the recruiters finish up paperwork at the Navy recruiting office in Lincoln on March 27.
Navy recruiter Hayes of the Lincoln recruiting office measures the height of UNL graduate Shannon Smith on March 27 as one of the final steps of her process in enlisting in the Navy. Smith graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in journalism, but had trouble finding work as a journalist immediately out of school. She enlisted in the Navy in December to work as a mass communications specialist.
In order to pursue journalism dream, UNL graduate enlists in Navy as mass communications specialist story by Katie Nelson | photos by Andrew Dickinson
hannon Smith is in a place she thought she’d never find herself: boot camp in Illinois, the first step in her four- to five-year contract with the United States Navy. The soon-to-be Navy mass communications specialist graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2010 but, like many graduates, has had trouble finding a job in her field. Smith said she cannot remember a time when she didn’t want to be a journalist. Her obsession with the career began with a magazine. “One of the first books or magazines she ever picked up ... happened to be a National Geographic,” said her
mother Darlene Smith. “She has a massive collection in her room; she currently has every issue from, I believe, 1950 on.” Shannon said she originally wanted to be a photographer, but as early as elementary school, she realized she had a knack for writing. A native of Hickman, Neb., Smith wasn’t able to practice her skills in a school newspaper, so she worked on the yearbook staff instead. One year, a tornado struck her school and she and her classmates finished the yearbook at UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. After working in Andersen Hall and becoming familiar with the rest of campus, Smith fell in love with journalism all over again. “I didn’t really have any of those moments where I
switched majors halfway through college,” she said. During her four years at UNL, Smith worked for the Daily Nebraskan and was on the Student Advisory Board for the College of Journalism, but she spent most of her time working on three of the magazines the college produces. She also traveled with the college, even going to Kosovo a month after the country declared its independence. “When you’re interviewing people (for) the DN, you’re like, ‘This is pretty cool. I feel like I’m actually doing something,’” she said. “It’s not until you throw yourself into a really crazy situation, like reporting on poverty when I was 18 ... at least that’s when it hit me: That’s
what I want to do with my life.” Through her work on the advisory board and as a babysitter for his kids, Smith also became close with journalism professor Scott Winter. “She’s in journalism for all the right reasons,” he said. “She’s just got a big heart and that kind of embassy serves you well in this business, and now we’re going to find out how tough she is.” Then it was time to graduate and get a job. Smith had received internships (including one in Los Angeles at Variety magazine) but as she was “putting out feelers” for a job, no one seemed to be interested. She graduated with a loaded resume and no job offers. Her mother explained Shannon’s interest was more indepth reporting, something she would have to move to one of the coasts to pursue. But Shannon wasn’t coast-bound quite yet, so she packed up, moved home and continued working at Victoria’s Secret. “It’s just really frustrating because it was August after graduation and ... I’m living in Hickman,” she said. “I’m working at Victoria’s Secret and I feel like I’m back in high school again.” But things began to turn around when, in September, she began writing features stories once or twice a month for the Ground Zero blog and the 402(411) in the Lincoln Journal Star. By October, she was also a freelance journalist for the Omaha publication O Magazine and she moved into her own apartment. But Shannon wasn’t able to comfortably make ends meet, so she took on another job at U.S. Cellular. For a year, she worked full time at U.S. Cellular, part-time at Victoria’s Secret and writing for several different publications
in Lincoln and Omaha. “I loved U.S. Cellular, and I loved Victoria’s Secret because I love talking with people but, at the end of the day, when the thing you do the least is the thing you love the most ... you feel like, ‘What am I doing?’” Smith said. The endgame for Smith remains a specific brand of journalism. Ever since her trip to Kosovo, Smith has been interested in-depth reporting. Her mother explained Shannon did not want to write for a day-to-day newspaper but instead, a publication where she would have a week to do interviews and collect as much information about her subject before writing an article. Smith said she wants to write stories that will have a positive influence on people, but she’s made the best of her sporadic features reporting. “Everyone has a story to tell, so if you just find that thing that defines that person, someone out there is going to identify with it, so that’s how I justified it,” she said. “Still, in my little girl heart, I want to work for National Geographic and be in Africa somewhere, bringing this never-told story to light.” So Smith enlisted in the Navy. “I think really good journalists need to be aggressive and take calculated risks,” Winter said.“She’s taking a chance, man.” After she is done with basic training, Smithwill move to Maryland and attend the U.S. Naval Academy, which will prepare her to be a mass communications specialist during her remaining years of duty. “I don’t think you lose your dreams,” she said.“I think you just get a little more sober.” Her work will include a mix of public relations and journalism. She will report and take pictures in addition to coordinating press
journalist: see page 51
he ocean is real. I saw it with my own eyes. I touched it. I even tasted it. It started and ended in the very place my feet were planted. It went on for so long that I didn’t know I was looking at it at first — it looked like a wall. But it wasn’t a wall. Thank God for student loans. But I’ll get to that. At 25 years old, the sea had rekindled my sense of wonder. For all the bitterness I held on to from a tough upbringing, I was again able to look at something of which I had no preconceived opinion. The ocean didn’t need anything from me, and I had no questions for it. The moment was fleeting, of course, because reality waited. The next 10 months would offer countless moments like this, such as the shock of New York City’s skyline at night and the impossibility that man created it or Utah’s jaw-dropping landscape — painfully beautiful and alien. There would be more hard days — days I thankfully couldn’t predict and didn’t know I was strong enough to push through — but I was finally released. In those first moments with the ocean, the world became real and so did I. Less than a year later, I’ve lived in four states, the District of Columbia and three time zones. I’ve flown in a plane with my cat and driven more than 5,000 miles with him sitting shotgun — and even got him to use the litterbox in the car on the side of a New Mexico interstate. Thank you, Federal Stafford Loans (I’m getting there)! A crazy person has accosted me on a subway. I found real pollution: It’s in New Jersey. I even got my first speeding ticket (try explaining to a state trooper in Missouri why you have a Nebraska license plate and a California driver’s license but are moving to Virginia to look for a job in D.C.). I learned being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. It means being scared and doing it anyway. But what about student loans? Well, none of it would have been possible without them.
Mine’s a typical story. The only child to a single mom, my deadbeat, alcoholic donor-dad was gone before he could be a fuzzy memory in my mind. My mom worked hard at a non-glamorous job. Education was less a priority than making sure I was kept healthy and alive until I was old enough to fend for myself. Mom and I had a strained relationship, and I was mostly on my own. I felt shortchanged and
I let the world know. Some think “only children” have attitudes because they always get what they want — try meeting one who never gets what she wants. Though I was “independent,” bad luck, a slippery hold on my emotions and a lack of skills necessary to manage this so-called “independent” lifestyle meant a rough road. I couldn’t balance a checkbook. I missed the boat on maintaining a clean apartment. Not getting what I wanted made me angry, feeling vulnerable made me cry. Top that off with arsonists destroying my apartment when I was 21, a subsequent full-on mental breakdown and a medical bankruptcy by the time I was 24. The cards weren’t in my favor. And, if they ever were, I played them poorly. Somehow, between ages 18 and 21, I’d managed to complete most of my general education classes at a community college. Then I decided to get a grown-up job that didn’t require an education. When my house burned down two weeks into training, I should have taken it as an omen. The day I applied to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a vivid memory. I’d slugged through my fancy grown-up job for a bit more than a year. Working customer service for a telephone company, I was in the tail end of my mental breakdown. That day, leashed to my desk by a headset, I paused my incoming calls and stood up to stare at the rows of co-workerfilled cubicles. Looking out at all the desks, I felt less-thanapathetic toward my job. But still, I longed for whatever made my co-workers able to keep going. To be clear, I didn’t pity my co-workers. I envied them. I envied their strength in doing what was needed, even if it wasn’t fun, to earn their paychecks. I envied the strength they had to not panic at the beep of an incoming call or loathe the present while fearing the future. But I wasn’t as strong as they were — at least not yet. So, I applied to UNL. Right then and there. Even in that moment, though, college was a pipe dream. Like many times in my life, I was stalling. College was just a novel idea, my proverbial ocean. It was something I heard about, but it wasn’t tangible. But it’s sure tangible now. Nearly-$40,000-indebt tangible.
A million and one factors made returning to school hard, not to mention my attitude. Returning at 23, I felt pretty stupid being shown up by 18 year olds. I resented the students whose college was paid for by adoring parents. I felt cheated by those who had scholarships. People were telling me what to do — and I felt the need to let them know that I was too cool for school. In reality, I was scared. And when I got scared, I got mad. Flippant. Lippy. Saucy. All the best adjectives. Yes, a million and one factors made returning to school hard. But one factor wasn’t an issue: paying tuition. Thanks to loans awarded by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, I was given the opportunity to change my life. I began to realize my own strength and ultimately my true weaknesses. Slowly, slowly, my terror began changing to open-mindedness, my haughtiness to sensitivity and my sass to moxie. Some can handle a life of constant
mason: see page 52
32monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
stroke of good fortune story by Nedu Izu
Earning a full-ride tennis scholarship erases the high costs of school for German tennis player
file photo by chris dorwart | daily nebraskan
Freshman Izabella Zgierska has helped the Huskers to a school-record 23 wins this season.
zabella Zgierska was an elite tennis player in her home country when she was younger. Before coming to the United States, Zgierska was ranked No. 117 as a German youth in Miesbach, Germany. She currently holds a 7-5 record in singles play for the Nebraska women’s tennis team, including her latest singles win against Michigan State’s Julianna Gruber, April 15. Zgierska also has helped the Huskers in doubles play, carrying a 15-2 record this season. However, the solid performances aren’t what make Zgierska different than her teammates. After verbally committing to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in July, the 19-year-old finally joined the NU team in January, doing so without a scholarship. In fact, she’s the only player on the team without assistance from the athletic department. According to NCAA Division I Regulations, student athletes aren’t allowed to receive financial aid other than the aid the institution distributes or accept any prize money for their performance in their sport. The tuition for international students is currently $30,032 and is projected to increase to $36,465 next year. So how is Zgierska paying for her tuition at UNL? “My parents have helped pay for me to come here,” she said. “It hasn’t been too tough because I knew parents would do anything for me to get a good education.” The international business major said she admits at times it’s been stressful knowing she relies solely on her parents for financial aid, but added that playing tennis is a secondary reason as to why she came to Nebraska. And having the option to be a student and an athlete at the same time was the big thing Zgierska considered when committing to Nebraska. “It’s hard to get good grades in school and play tennis in Germany because you’re focused on multiple things,” she said. The freshman added that the universities in her hometown don’t allow athletic programs, another reason why Zgierska chose to come to Nebraska. Having a passion for education is something NU coach Hayden Perez said he respects about Zgierska and a trait he tries to exercise to all of his athletes. “Coach (Scott) Jacobson and I want each and every kid that enters our program to get a degree,” he said. “It is our number one goal for all our players.” Zgierska did receive good news from her coaches that will help her financially next semester. When she met with Perez in July, she was told she would be put on scholarship during her second semester in the fall of 2012. The freshman was told she would be given a full athletic scholarship that will cover her room and board, books and tuition. The news left Zgierska thrilled knowing that her following semesters won’t be as stressful as it’s been this semester on her and her parents.
“It’s pretty expensive so I’m very lucky to play just one semester off scholarship,” she said.“It wouldn’t be possible for me to pay two or more semesters. It’s too much.” The scholarship will also help out her parents who also pay for her older sister to go to college in Munich, a college Zgierska said is more expensive than UNL. “It makes me feel better knowing that they won’t have to pay so much money just for me,” the freshman said. Although Perez said she would be receiving the scholarship if it weren’t for the maximum they’ve already given out, he said that’s not the only reason why the NU tennis player is receiving the allocation next year. “Izabella’s character, grades and athletic ability all qualify her for a scholarship,” he said. “She is absolutely deserving of the scholarship.” Although Zgierska joined the team at the beginning of this semester, she’s been in contact with them for more than a year, according to Perez. The coach said the freshman was initially set on attending St. Mary’s College in California before graduating high school. But after finding out that she wouldn’t attend, current boyfriend Andre Stenger, who is on the NU men’s tennis team, informed coach Perez and Jacobson of her decision, and that’s when the coaches showed immediate interest in the tennis player, Perez said. The coach met with Zgierska and her mother in Munich, Germany last July, where the freshman would later commit to become the team’s newest addition. Zgierska knew the adjustments she’d have to make to the campus 4,924 miles away wouldn’t be easy. But a similarity she found between some of her future teammates made the choice to come much simpler. The 2011-2012 women’s tennis team currently has seven nonAmerican born athletes, including five Germans. Considering the freshman didn’t start learning English until five years ago, Zgierska figured having others who speak her first language would be a positive. “Studying English wasn’t easy and it’s totally different,” Zgierska said. “But we have practice everyday and that helps a lot. We have such a good team, and I don’t think we’re just teammates, but we’re more so friends now.” Describing the team as just good would be an understatement as to how well they’ve performed this season. Through 26 matches this season the Huskers are 23-3 and rank No. 18 nationally in the ITA Division I women’s tennis rankings. This weekend the Huskers broke the school record for wins in a season by defeating Minnesota and Wisconsin. Perez said Zgierska has contributed to the team in more ways than just her domination on the court. “Izabella is a wonderful young lady that has brought a very positive outlook to the team,” Perez said. “Her constant positive attitude is something everyone should look to imitate.” neduizu@ dailynebraskan.com
It’s pretty expensive so I’m very lucky to play just one semester off scholarship. It wouldn’t be possible for me to pay two or more semesters. It’s too much. izabella zgierska unl tennis player
file photo by matt masin daily nebraskan
Zgierska has a 7-5 singles record this season and a 15-2 mark in doubles play for the Huskers.
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Debt Evasion story by Dan Holtmeyer | photos by Chris Dorwart
Junior history major will graduate debt-free with help from family, but not without making sacrifices to accommodate rising college costs
Junior history major Daniela Garvue poses with a graduation cap and gown, travel books and a globe on the green space near Love Library April 20. Although she won’t graduate this year, Garvue stills plans to graduate debtfree by working odd jobs and with the help of family members.
Garvue has remained in college, through significant financial contributions from grandparents.
ix months ago, Daniela Garvue stood on the Capitol Building’s northern steps and held aloft a sign reading “Occupy Earth.” Income inequality and the influence of money and wealth in politics were on her mind. About 500 people joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln junior history major from Kearney with their own signs. It was Oct. 15, the first day of Occupy Wall Street’s local offshoot, Occupy Lincoln. A number of the protesters were students, fed up, they said, with the trade of a college degree for persistent, sometimes debilitating student debt. Today the protest has shifted toward education, working in lowincome communities and protesting a Supreme Court decision that has opened the floodgates of corporate spending in political campaigns. But student debt remains a rallying issue for the movement’s members.
“Occupy Wall Street has branched off into a huge student debt thing,” Garvue said. She described a sense of betrayal among some college graduates who now face a sluggish job market, politicians eyeing federal-aid cuts and average debt at about $25,000: Garvue described the mindset as: “You told me to do this, but you didn’t keep your end of the deal.” Garvue won’t graduate with that student debt, she said, in contrast with more than half of today’s graduates, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. But her story shows a college career infused with the effects of rising college costs.
Garvue’s mom, Carol Lilly, is a history professor and director of international studies at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, which means Garvue gets half of her tuition covered for one semester each year at UNL. Even with
this help, Lilly said, times have changed. “When we went to college, it was so cheap,” Lilly said in a phone interview. “My tuition bill when I went to the University of Colorado was about $400 a year,” or about enough to cover two credit hours for an in-state student at UNL. “Even out of graduate school (my husband and I) had maybe $5,000 or $7,000 in student debt,”Lilly added. Today’s doctoral student can expect about 10 times as much, according to FinAid, a financial aid information and advice website. Today’s college costs caught Lilly a bit off-guard, she said. Garvue’s grandparents, particularly her grandmother, stepped in to help, telling Garvue that if she kept her grades up, they’d provide half of the cost. “‘Yes! Thank you!’” Lilly said with a relieved-sounding laugh, recalling her reaction to the offer. But that money has to come from somewhere, Garvue said, and her grandparents deal with several
health issues. “My grandma is falling apart,” she said. With a car accident several years ago still affecting her grandma’s health and a grandpa with Alzheimer’s, Garvue said, “Every year there’s been some sort of crisis.” Garvue also has a brother in high school, so her parents have to prepare for that as well. With college costs going nowhere but up, the family’s resources could be further strained. But they still help, Garvue said. “I don’t think they want to make me feel like they’re having a hard time with it.”
Garvue’s day-to-day life has also adjusted to the reality of paying for college, rent and food. She worked full-time at Village Inn her first year, running up to the very edge of overtime. So many hours with a waiter’s pay began to take
their toll. “Way too much,” she said. “It was terrible.” Now she works for Lincoln Espresso, splitting her shifts between four locations. Garvue often spoke of her love of traveling, but thoughts of studying abroad, taking a trip or getting a degree in another state were out of the question. Her mom, who advises UNK students looking to do exactly that, said her thinking has shifted in a similar direction. “I’m always advising students here to go on study abroad trips,” Lilly said, pointing to the cultural and personal experience they bring. “I say, ‘This is one of the things that’s worth going into debt for.’ I think of that a little differently now. It’s true, but not if you already have $25,000 debt.” Garvue’s boyfriend, Lewis Bohlman, was on track to graduate with an engineering degree from the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, but transferred to Southeast Community College because of the cost. He’s now studying culinary arts and wants to open a bakery. The necessary loan to open a small business, he said, is the debt that’s looming in his mind. “That’s what I’m more worried about — how am I going to get a loan for a bakery and not get swamped?”Bohlman said. He’s drawing near the end of a college trust his grandfather had set up. He and Garvue both have had their lapses in money management, Bohlman said, so they help each other control their spending. “We eat a lot of rice,” Garvue said with a laugh. “ And I’ve learned how to cook.” Both Garvue and her mom acknowledged they were fortunate in their debt load. “We’re very lucky,” Lilly said. danholtmeyer@ dailynebraskan.com
›› Garvue plans to travel as much as she can after she graduates.
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U N L’s C o l l e g e o f L a w l a c k s t h e n a m e r e c o g n i t i o n o f o t h e r s c h o o l s , b u t f o r K e n n y Tr a n t h e a f f o r a d a b l e c o s t of coming to Lincoln allowed him to graduate debt-free
story by Jacy Marmaduke | photo by Bethany Schmidt The good thing with education is that it’s your knowledge. With a car or a house, if your investment goes bad, you might lose it. But your knowledge, it’s going to stay with you. You can always use it if you need to. kenny tran
Kenny Tran, a law student at UNL, poses for a portrait on April 20. After living in California for 10 years, Tran brushed aside more prestigious colleges close to home for the affordability of UNL’s law college.
unl law student
he University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law is good enough for Kenny Tran.
Tran knows UNL is nationally recognized more for its mascot than its graduate schools. But name recognition wasn’t a deterrent for Tran, who chose his school with finances in mind. He will graduate this year with no debt because of his economical choice. “It wasn’t worth the extra $20,000 a year,” Tran said. “Name recognition helps you get your foot in the door, but at the end of the day if you’re getting good grades and you impress (potential employers) at the interview, you have a chance.” Tran was born and raised in Vietnam and came to the United States
after high school. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a master’s in business administration in California and spent two years working in software engineering in San Jose, Calif. The pay was sufficient and Tran liked the work, but he had his sights set higher. “I didn’t want to be a code monkey,” he said. So Tran began applying to law schools. California had been his home for 10 years, but the schools there — Stanford Law School and the University of San Francisco School of Law — as well as those in New York and Michigan, were too pricey. “It doesn’t really make a difference for me,” he said. “You get your legal education and then you can go back and work and get experience.” Scholarship opportunities for students in the U.S. on student visas are far and few between, Tran said, but thanks to previous
investments, UNL’s low tuition and some help from his parents, he came to Nebraska with no debt worries — and an understanding of what he might be missing out on. “There’s a reason top law schools charge you premium,” he said. “When you go to these big-name schools, you’re going to meet probably some of the greatest minds in the world.” Jonathan Gardner, a friend of Tran’s who graduated from UNL’s law school last May, said he was happy as well. “It still provides the background education,” Gardner said.“It trains you how to be a lawyer — how to think, how to answer the technical questions. And for me, UNL opened up a lot of opportunities.” And UNL’s law school is no joke, Tran said. The first years especially came complete with hours of reading and memorization, thick books and lengthy articles and even a special session warning the
spouses and significant others of law students about the stresses their partners would be undergoing. “It’s like boot camp the first year,” Tran said. “They try to weed people out.” But with only one round of exams remaining before graduation, Tran said the trials have been worthwhile, even if the market for lawyers seems to be shrinking. He hopes to use his degree to specialize in copyright and trademark law. “The good thing with education is that it’s your knowledge,” Tran said. “With a car or a house, if your investment goes bad, you might lose it. But your knowledge, it’s going to stay with you. You can always use it if you need to.” jacymarmaduke@ dailynebraskan.com
38monday, April 23, 2012
story by Conor Dunn photos by Morgan Spiehs
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
Chris Howard always dreamed of attending UNL; debt almost ruined his plans — twice
hree of the seven Howard family members are going to college. When they graduate, Carrie Howard and her sons Jeff and Chris Howard will owe a collective $107,000 in student loans. The family is originally from Glenwood, Ill. Carrie attends Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Ill., and Jeff attends the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. But Chris was determined to earn a degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It’s been far from easy. Chris has had to leave twice. The first time because of a hard adjustment, Chris’ mom Carrie said, and a GPA below the required 2.0. The second time — because of money. The first time Chris had to leave UNL was in January 2008. He returned to UNL in the spring of 2009.
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Third time’s a
“Chris could get good grades,” Carrie said. And he did. He had switched his major to child, youth and family studies and declared a minor in sociology. The classes were easier for him than his former meteorology major required, especially when he had finished some of his general education requirements at Prairie State during his time at home. During Chris’ time back at UNL, both of his parents lost their jobs. By January 2010, the Howards simply couldn’t afford Chris’ out-of-state tuition. The loans his parents were using to pay his tuition were restricted and Chris was only able to take out so many loans for himself per year. He was put on academic probation and left UNL for a second time. “He had a balance, and we couldn’t afford to pay it,” Carrie said. “And there was no way he could afford it.
We had to get that bill paid.” The student bill had derived mainly from on-campus living costs. Chris said he owed more than $5,500 to UNL in housing costs. Faced with the immediacy of his unpaid student bill, Chris took out loans from Prairie State to pay off his
howard: see page 53 ABOVE Chris Howard, a child, youth and family studies major, gets the dining table ready for dinner Thursday afternoon at the Lighthouse after-school program where he interns. Even though he and his family are battling student loans, he plans to graduate in December.
“I have unfinished business to take care of. I want to get a degree from here.” Chris Howard unl senior
While interning at the Lighthouse after-school program, Howard helps out by washing dishes Thursday evening. Howard is also involved in Campus NightLife, Afrikan People’s Union, Invisible Children and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
On April 19, Howard dries dishes at the Lighthouse after-school program where he interns. MORGAN SPIEHS | DAILY NEBRASKAN
RIGHT Howard walks down the stairs toward the gymnasium Thursday evening in the Lighthouse after-school center where he works as an intern. Howard has spent many summers building homes for people in need with Habitat for Humanity.
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Climbing the ivory tower requires passion, dedication
tudent debt can be overwhelming, especially if the student is unclear about his or her career goals. These worries are magnified for graduate students, especially those pursuing academic subjects, like English or physics. With the state of the academic job market and the competition for so few professorships, taking on student debt is a risk. Of course, there’s the option to go into a corporate position, but there’s a risk when it comes to the time and money invested in an additional degree. There is no guarantee of a return on the investment — is, getting an academic role upon graduation. The figures are disconcerting: 55.2 percent of master’s degree students accumulated an average $31,031 in loans and 45.8 percent of doctoral students borrowed, owing on average $57,860 in debt. And this is on top of undergraduate loans. Add up the loans from a student’s undergraduate degree with their graduate degree and you’ll begin to realize how daunting the figures actually are. The average debt a student can expect from an undergraduate degree from UNL is $16,664. If you add the loan for a master’s degree, the total amount owed would be $47,695. For a Ph.D., the amount owed would come to $74,524. And this doesn’t even take into account interest. Without a guarantee of employment, debt can add stress to what is already a stressful task. The figures do seem overwhelming. National Public Radio suggests gauging the cost of graduate school and comparing it to starting salaries in the field of the degree. This suggests professional fields would be worth the debt, but not academic fields. But it doesn’t take into account non-fiscal reasons for going to graduate school. It’s also important to note many academic jobs require a Ph.D., and pursuing this career without a graduate degree would be hopeless. Even speaking purely from an economic view, paying back these loans may not be as daunting as it seems while they accumulate.
There’s the option to pay back loans based on an income-based scale, which NPR, among many others, doesn’t mention. This makes the loans seem less frightening, and it does ease some of the worry of taking such a large risk, but it’s important to bear in mind there’s still risk involved. And sure, for students in professional disciplines, there’s less risk than with academic subjects. For example, medical students graduate with an average of $139,517 in debt. This is not obviously a bad thing, as the field is growing and starting salaries are high. Also, it’s necessary to have a graduate degree to do much in medicine. But just because there’s a risk doesn’t mean academic fields should be abandoned. It just depends on the student’s intellectual capabilities and their reasons for attending graduate school. With the recession, many people who have been laid off and some of these people, along with recent graduates who are finding it difficult to obtain employment, are returning back to school. If this is the case, then no, it’s probably not a good idea to pursue a graduate degree. The student will accumulate debt and still not be guaranteed a job — he or she will be stuck right back where he or she was. And if the student doesn’t love what he or she is doing, failing out of graduate school will only do him or her a disservice in the job market. For those who love studying and can’t imagine doing something non-academic, then yes, it probably is worth it. Most job markets are difficult at the moment. If you excel at what you do, it will be easier to find a job in it than if you pursue a career at which you are mediocre. Some hope, to avoid going into a large amount of debt, the student will get some form of funding from the university. There are many fellowships, teaching assistantships and research assistantships available. But even for those with funding, it’s not easy to avoid debt. Teaching and research assistants have their tuition paid and receive stipends, but they still don’t make a lot. Going to conferences and program obligations aren’t cheap, but almost necessary. Departments have limited travel grants, but the student will presumably have to pay for some amount of the trip out of pocket. Some students are lucky enough to have savings or family support to help, but this isn’t the case for everyone. This leads students to take out more debt or even, in some cases, credit cards. Another point of concern for both funded and unfunded students is deferment. There’s only so long that the student can defer their repayments before the loans kick in. It helps
to try to pay the interest while still in school, but sometimes this is impossible. For example, it might be you can only defer your student loan payments until 2014. If you graduated in 2010, and are pursuing a Ph.D., which can take five to six years, you will have to face repayment while still in school. It depends if your loan provider allows deferment while still in school or if there is a cap on how long you can go without repaying. Even if the loans can be deferred until graduation, the interest will accumulate in the meantime is worth taking into consideration. Also, sometimes employment in addition to the graduate course load isn’t reasonable if you’re enrolled in a degree full-time and especially if you have an assistantship. It’s difficult enough doing work at the graduate level, let alone trying to maintain a part-time job to pay down student debt or prevent it. It’s also difficult for those without assistantships who need to somehow procure related work experience. Experience might come in the form of an internship but quite a few of these are either unpaid or have a small stipend will make no great financial contribution. Let’s face it — with the additional time you’re spending in school, it helps to have some work experience behind you. Getting a part-time job at the local bar provides additional income, but even this would be problematic with the hours the student will be forced to work and lack of relevant experience it would provide. Many graduate students, including myself, do have part-time work, but sometimes it’s difficult to complete the course load while having other commitments. In short, work might help with some of the debt accrued, but it won’t resolve the situation. But this of course only takes into account the monetary value of a graduate degree. There are far more factors to consider. Deciding to enroll in graduate school is about the ability to pursue what you love. And the debt might be worth it. It really just depends on the person, his or her values and if he or she expects to be able to pay the loans back. The most obvious advantage to obtaining a graduate degree many financial analysts and writers overlook is the educational advantage. Sometimes pursuing a graduate degree is solely about being able to research
something in which the student is very interested. It’s not always about career and money. If you love history, earned an undergraduate degree and can’t imagine your life without it, then yes, maybe it should be more than just a hobby, as many will claim it shouldn’t be. If you would do better in a field about which you are passionate, the career options might actually be better. You will be more likely to excel and be competitive despite the smaller job market. The point is, going to graduate school, even when considering the debt, isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Paying back a loan won’t seem as big of a deal if a person is doing what they love. They might not be as financially stable as quickly as their peers, but sometimes the sacrifice is worth it. Not going to graduate school won’t have the same repercussions as not getting an undergraduate degree in the job market. This is certain. But if you have the opportunity to go to graduate school and it’s the only way to reach your desired career goal, then it might be a better option than taking a job you will be dissatisfied with. Other than doing what you love which, let’s face it, is why we go to university in the first place, there’s also the eventual benefit of tenure, which non-academic jobs don’t usually offer. It’s long-term benefits such as these many people overlook. In the end, it’s the student’s responsibility to pay back the loans, so it’s his or her decision if it’s worth it. If he or she has a clear career path and can’t achieve his or her goals without getting a graduate degree, then he or she should probably do it. Student debt is in a bad state, and graduate student debt even more so, but if it opens up new opportunities, then it’s probably worth it. If a person would be satisfied spending the time, and especially if he or she isn’t funded, the money on obtaining a graduate degree and not going into the field, then the investment will probably be a good one. If not, then much consideration should be taken before pursuing a degree. It all comes down to the following: If you’ll appreciate your additional education, regardless of the debt, then graduate school is probably worth the financial obligations that come along with it. Stephanie Shipp is a PhD candidate in philosophy. She can be reached at stephanieshipp@ dailynebraskan.com.
Student debt is in a bad state, and graduate student debt even more so, but if it opens up new opportunities, then it’s probably worth it.”
International students provide financial benefits to universities
ccording to an article from the Wall Street Journal published in March, the “student debt outstanding appears to have surpassed $1 trillion late last year.” This happened because there are more students in school because of the recent economic recession, and tuition keeps going up and up. We all know the majority of the college students bear a certain amount of debt, but every now and then, we find someone graduating without any debt. There are mainly two types of these students. One is students who enjoy a very generous scholarship. They won’t help solve the debt problem. They’re taking money out of the system. The more they take, the less you may have or the more you have to pay. The other type of student comes from families wealthy enough to pay for all educational expenses. This group is important in terms of solving the student debt problem. They bring more money into the system. If universities can get more donations from those wealthy people, every student will be able to pay less. In other words, students will have less debt. To make the target group more specific,
I want to share with you a United States regulation that most Americans don’t know. Every international student admitted by U.S. universities has to prove they have enough money to pay for his or her college education. Some of them may have a great scholarship, but today most of them don’t. International students are paying more for school out of their own pockets. They’re from better-off families overseas. You might refer to those students as the “upper-middle class.” Some of them are the so called “global elite class” or “the 1 percent.” One of the reasons students are accumulating more debt is the rise of tuition costs. For a public school such as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, once the state cuts the budget, we can’t do much but raise tuition. However, we are living in a globalized world. I think it’s time to consider some solutions from outside the country. We are a member of the Big Ten. Have you heard about Ohio State University’s Gateway office program? In June 2010, OSU opened its first international Gateway office in China. There are also OSU Gateway programs in India and Brazil. With these programs, OSU is collecting donations from its alumni living all over the world. Today, we are talking about the student debt issue. It’s indeed about the university’s revenue chain. If there’s an education budget cut from the government, then there are only two basic methods to keep the university running, given other cash inflows are stable. First, let’s just spend less; second, let’s raise more money. Obviously, spending less would not be good for the university in the long run. Without making a quality investment, our university will not go far; students who graduate from our school won’t be competitive. They’ll tend to spend a longer time tackling their student loans. In return, the university will get fewer donations in the future. So, let’s go with the
second path. Raise more money. UNL is a public university. The majority of its funding comes from the government. The question is, should we only depend on the government? Governments can do many things that others cannot, but that doesn’t mean it can do better managing money. If you’ve ever checked the national debt clock, you understand. When we talk about money for the university, we should definitely find some alternatives to government funding. Ultimately, this country runs on the spirit of free enterprise, not on government regulations. The new global elite would love for their kids to have an American education. Whether you realize it, America has one of the best tertiary education programs in the world. Every year, there are thousands of international students coming here to learn the knowledge and the culture that makes America successful. You may think every international student shares some type of story like this: “In their home country, they are starving, they have no human rights, they have nothing, and then somehow they got an opportunity to study in America with an American scholarship. A bright future is waiting for them on their graduation.”That might be true somewhere in history, like when Steve Jobs’ biological father came to America from Syria, or Andrew Grove, the co-founder of Intel, came to America from Hungary. Today, the world has changed, maybe without you noticing. If you’ve paid attention to the luxury cars on campus, have you paid attention to the owners? Sometimes, you may
hear the owner talking in another language coming out of the car and heading to the classroom. They’re foreign students, or more specifically, rich foreign students. If they’re Americans, call them the 1 percent. More precisely, there is a term phrased as “global elite.”To most students on campus, they don’t really understand how all those changes happen. If they’re rich, why would they come to UNL, a public school located in the middle of the country? Even within the U.S., people have a hard time figuring out exactly where Nebraska is. You’re right about that. That’s why at the early stage, most international students choose to study on the coasts or around big metropolitan areas. However, globalization has made it possible for others to learn more about the U.S. But it’s obvious there are good universities in the Midwest as well. That’s why more and more international students choose to study here. You may have already known that international students pay a higher tuition. According to UNL’s website, the estimated annual cost for a regular international student would be around $28,594. That’s just tuition, fees and housing. The estimated annual price I just mentioned is calculated based on regular undergraduate courses. If the student is in business or engineering, he or she will have to pay $764.75 or $804.75 instead of $617.75 per credit hour. You understand how difficult it is to live in the Midwest without a car. So students are buying cars, paying nearly $4 per gallon gas. And their parents aren’t in the country, meaning
Government can do many things that others cannot, but that doesn’t mean they can do better.
xu: see page 55
High tuition costs unfairly squeeze dollars from out-of-state students
e go through life constantly rehearsing specific speeches for milestone moments. Everything from getting in trouble with the law (“My speedometer’s broken,” followed by fake tears) to your marriage proposal has an automated speech ready when necessary. Our generation, however, has a new speech to rehearse:
“Honey, I’m in student loan debt.” That conversation will play out much differently for those who attended an in-state institution or went across their borders and paid outof-state tuition. Why do students choose University of Nebraska-Lincoln as opposed to their in-state equivalent? In some instances, a specific program at UNL is nationally-recognized. For example, the journalism college is third in the nation. Our actuarial science program brings others to Nebraska. Others come to UNL because it’s actually closer in proximity than their in-state institutions. Council Bluffs, Iowa, is 60 miles away from Lincoln, yet it’s 161 miles away from Ames, Iowa, where Iowa State University’s campus is located. Then there are the full-ride scholarships, such as those for National Hispanic Scholars, which pay for your entire tuition. The Midwest Student Exchange Program and UNL’s Beadle Scholarship both assist students by helping eliminate the difference in tuition prices. Some just wanted to have that authentic
college experience, but wanted to move away from home to gain a sense of independence and to escape high school altogether. Growing up a Husker fan probably helps guide some to UNL’s campus as well. The combination of inflation and a heavily increased demand for higher education has resulted in the (debatably) overpriced college experience. Anyone attending a four-year university will often complain — and rightfully so. Without a parent footing the bill, or a full-tuition scholarship, finding enough loans to keep bill collectors at bay is a hassle. And thus the vicious cycle begins. If you’re trying to pay just the difference between inand out-of-state, you may end up getting a job. You’ll probably need two part-time jobs to afford the cost of living on your own. As a fulltime college student with three part-time jobs (and a minimal disposable income), I can attest to how difficult this is. Sleep? Forget it. Studying? Well, it happens when it can. And the vicious cycle continues. You’re overworked because you’re trying to pay for school. Your grades are lacking because
you’re spending too much time at work. You can’t eliminate the job, or you won’t stay in school because you’ll be homeless. And being a homeless college student isn’t an option. Love Library closes at midnight or earlier, depending on the day of the week. They check the lounges for squatters before shutting down the building every night. What should you do? Well, according to many of my colleagues, you should pack your bags and head home. That’s the fiscally responsible thing to do. Also, there are no showers in Love Library. Good luck staying hygienic without bathing facilities. The average amount of student loan debt is $25,520, according to the Project on Student Debt. In Nebraska, it’s slightly less: $21,227. Both of those numbers, however, don’t reflect the financial burden out-of-state students face. “High debt” colleges are schools where graduates have $29,800 to $45,350 in debt after attendance. This “high debt” status doesn’t apply to UNL unless you’re accounting for
croghan: see page 52
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44monday, April 23, 2012
the daily nebraskan’s
monday, aPril 23, 2012
Con·sol·i·da·tion n. the process of combining multiple loans into a single, new loan. For example, last year President Barack Obama announced a program to allow students with a certain mix of private and government loans to consolidate them until this summer, making them all direct federal loans and knocking down the interest.
Grace pe·ri·od n. a period of several months after graduation, leaving college or dropping below full time. During this time, a student who took out a federal loan doesn’t have to start making payments; for Stafford Loans, it’s six months, while Perkins Loans bring nine months (see loan).
De·fault n. failure to repay a loan. Depending on which federal loan is involved, this means a student doesn’t make payments for 15 months or longer after graduation. This is the most extreme response when a student struggles to make payments and can impact her or his credit score, which consequentially affects the chances of getting a car, home or even a job. See repayment for other, less drastic options.
Grant n. a form of student aid that’s usually given with some requirements (of income, grades, student status, etc.) and doesn’t have to be repaid. Pell grants, which go to low-income students, are the foremost example.
In·ter·est n. a charge or cost added on top of a loan, usually as a percentage per month, year, etc. — basically, the cost of money. For a typical, unsubsidized De·part·ment of Ed·u·ca·tion n. the department of Stafford Loan (see loan), the annual interest rate the federal government that oversees federal student currently stands at 6.8 percent. For the average stuloans, grants and other aid. dent debt of about $25,000, this interest adds almost $10,000 in the 10-year repayment plan. Ex·pect·ed fam·il·y con·tri·bu·tion n. the amount a student’s family can pay toward that student’s college Loan n. an amount of money given with the agreeeducation, a number the government calculates by tak- ment that it will be paid back, usually with interest. ing income, other family members in college and other The federal government gives several types of loans circumstances into account. This number then affects if to help Americans pay for college: and how that student can get federal grants or loans. Direct loan: Government loan given diFAF·SA n. the Free Application for Federal Student rectly to students without a middleman, such Aid, an application the government uses to find a stuas a bank. In 2009, Congress switched all feddent’s ability (or lack thereof) to pay for college, find the eral student loans to direct. expected family contribution, and decide which grants or loans to offer that student. The FAFSA is due for next Federal Family Education Loan Proyear by June 30. gram: A program that allowed banks or
firms like Sallie Mae and Nelnet to give out Re·pay·ment plan n. a strategy for paying back stufederal student loans. The 2009 switch ended dent loans, which can be adjusted based on a student’s this program, but many of these loans are still ability to pay. The standard plan is payment for 10 being collected. years. While the monthly payments are higher for this plan, less interest builds up. Other options: Direct PLUS Parent Loan: With this program, parents can take out direct federal loans Extended: The plan is stretched to 25 years on behalf of a dependent student. The interest instead of 10 — monthly payments are lower, rates on these, 7.9 percent, is more than doubut more interest means the total paid is highble that of other direct loans. er. Only students with more than $30,000 in loans can use this plan. Perkins Loan: One of the first loans given by the federal government, these loans have a Graduated: Monthly payments start low fixed interest rate of 5 percent and go to lowand gradually increase for the 10 years of payincome students. UNL participates in this proment. The highest payment can only be as gram, which is largely self-sustaining. high as triple the lowest. Stafford Loan: The bread and butter of the federal student loan program, these loans come in two varieties: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans don’t build up interest until the student starts repaying them, and the interest rate is 3.4 percent, half the rate of unsubsidized loans. That could change this summer unless Congress extends the discounted rate.
Income-contingent: Each year’s monthly payments are calculated based on a student’s annual income, and the student can have up to 25 years to repay the loans. After that, the amount left over is forgiven. Income-based: Under a Congressional plan Obama put into effect last year, this plan caps monthly payments at 10 percent of a student’s discretionary income (what’s left over after the essentials), and can be zero dollars. After 20 years of payment, the rest can be forgiven.
Loan for·give·ness n. after a period of repayment, students in certain careers can get whatever debt they have left forgiven. For example, students who go into public service can have their loans forgiven after 10 For more information on federal student aid, visit years of payment, while low-income students can seek studentaid.ed.gov. — compiled by Dan Holtmeyer forgiveness after 20 years. email@example.com
46monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
MECHANICS OF DEBT With a 2011 budget of about $150 billion, the federal student aid program is complicated, to say the least. Different grants, different loans, different interest rates and different payment plans can make student debt a mental obstacle course. The Daily Nebraskan brought them all together in this guide. Most of federal aid comes in the form of loans, chunks of money the government gives to students with the agreement that they’ll eventually be paid back after graduation with additional interest. But which loans a student gets and how much interest she or he pays is potentially a $10,000 question.
These were some of the first student loans given out by the government back in the 1960s. Need-based and subsidized, low-income students with these loans don’t build interest until they finish school. Fixed interest rate: 5 percent.
These are the standard, relatively lowinterest federal student loans. Interes rates range from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, depending on how much school you’ve had when you got the loan.
The interest rate is 6.8 percent for graduates and undergraduates alike, and interest starts building during school from the moment you take out the loan.
The original subsidized loans didn’t accrue interest until after school – the government instead paid for that interest, keeping the amount owed stable. Various recent acts of Congress have changed this simple model.
UNDERGRADUATE Won’t accrue interest, and once it starts, that interest will likely grow at a discounted rate, depending on when you first took out the loan. Before 7/1/08 7/1/08 - 6/30/09 7/1/09 - 6/30/10 7/1/10 - 6/30/11 7/1/11 - 6/30/12
6.8% 6% 5.6% 4.5% 3.4%
Technically no longer exist. In the repetitive battles in Congress over the national budget last year, Republicans agreed to spare Pell grants and raise the debt ceiling in exchange for several cuts, including stripping graduate loans of their subsidy. Interest rate: 6.8 percent
$5,500 max per year
$8,000 max per year
DIRECT PLUS LOANS These loans come in when the others aren’t enough and bring a higher cost. They can go to graduate or professional students and to parents (biological or adoptive and sometimes step-parents) of a dependent student. Interest rate: 7.9 percent Max: cost of attendance minus other financial aid
The government will only lend so much to you in Stafford loans at a time and will usually lend less than these limits unless you have a pressing financial need.
UNDERGRADUATE OR GRADUATE? DEPENDENT OR INDEPENDENT? CAN YOUR PARENTS GET PLUS LOANS?
Each loan also comes with its own repayment schedule. They all begin with a grace period, giving you time to collect your thoughts and paychecks before making the first monthly payment. After that, typical plans last anywhere from 10 years to 25 years. Stretching out the plan lowers each month’s payment, but you’ll end up paying more over the long run as interest keeps building.
YES $5,500 first year $6,500 second year $7,500 third or more $31,000 total ($23,000 subsidized)
$20,500 per year $138,500 total ($65,500 subsidized) This total includes undergraduate loans.
STAFFORD: 6 MONTHS
$9,500 first year $10,500 second year $12,500 third or more $57,500 total ($23,000 subsidized)
PERKINS: 9 MONTHS
PAYMENT PERIODS STANDARD: 10 YEARS
ANDREW DICKINSON | DAILY NEBRASKAN
Gass poses inside his new car outside of the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 23rd and O streets. Despite paying for college out of his own pocket, Gass was still able to afford buying a new car. Pat McBride, associate dean of admissions, said it is harder now than ever for students to pay for college on their own. “Now, it’s very difficult to not be tied to your parents in terms of financial aid,” McBride said. McBride said research shows students have a hard time graduating when they work more than
20 hours a week, because students will become more tied to their employer than their professors. “Someone like David is strong enough in his drive to do that,” McBride said. “Extraordinary people can do that, but it does take an extraordinary effort and extraordinary sense of purpose.” Gass doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime
soon. He’ll continue to try to manage his work, academic and social lives with determination and good humor. “At the end of the day, I’m just always trying to have a good time,” Gass said. “Just not taking life too seriously.” shelbyfleig@ dailynebraskan.com
GRACE PERIODS DIRECT PLUS: 60 DAYS
gass: from 26
EXTENDED: UP TO 25 YEARS IN SOME PROGRAMS
track: from 16 men’s and women’s track and field combined, Nebraska has won 15 conference championships in the past 15 years, while Michigan has claimed only one. “They’re the flagship school in the state of Nebraska,” McGuire said. “We’re dividing up talented athletes with a fellow Big Ten institution that is every bit as attractive to the kids — that’s Michigan State. We’re not the only game in town.” Pepin said being the only game in town is an advantage for the Huskers, as NU often keeps the best in-state talent for itself. Still, he says the talent pool in a low-population state like Nebraska is very shallow, so he has to look elsewhere to fill the team. Oftentimes, that results in Pepin searching outside of the U.S. for top talent. Sixteen athletes on Nebraska’s 111-person roster are from outside of the U.S. and three of them have earned All-American status. In order for foreign athletes to be approved to play NCAA sports, they must file an I-20 form. The form verifies that the student-athlete or their family can afford to pay 50
percent of the tuition at the school the student-athlete will be attending, regardless of how much money in scholarships are offered to the student. Once the athletes get to Nebraska, Pepin said they are all treated the same. “If you’re on an academic scholarship, there are certain requirements you have to do or achieve to keep that scholarship. It’s the same with athletics,” Pepin said. “The bigger the aid, the bigger the expectations.” When a player falls short of expectations, Pepin said he first tries to help the athlete get back on track. If that doesn’t work, Pepin said the athlete sometimes has to face an unfortunate, but harsh reality, and is removed from scholarship. “In some way, it’s a learning process,” Pepin said. “This is what the real world is like out there.”
48monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
monday, aPril 23, 2012
Wells Fargo Education Connection Loan
sign by the
Six-month grace period repayment schedule: 15 years interest: (Variable) 5.68 percent and up limit: $25,000/year Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan features:
Six-month grace period Three payment options: interest repayment (pay interest while in school) *fixed repayment ($25 per month while in school)
Private loans fill financial-aid gaps when students exhauste other options
hile the bulk of student aid at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln comes from government and university programs, some students are turning to loans from private institutions, such as banks or specialized lenders, to fill their personal funding gaps. For Samantha Luft, a freshman animal science major from Texas, out-of-state tuition provided the push to private loans, many of which are co-signed by her parents. “It’s kind of hell,” Luft said with a laugh, referring to tuition and fees that more than double in-state rates and reach $20,000 a year before room and board. Luft also falls within a gap that appears in federal aid, which is largely distributed based on financial need. Her parents make enough income that she was able to get only $2,000 in federal loans. Out of about $120 million in UNL student and parent loans in the 2010-11 academic year — the latest available — about $7 million were so-called“alternative”loans, according to information provided by Craig Munier, director of UNL’s Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid. That puts private financing of UNL degrees at just less than 6 percent of all loans, compared to a national average of about 20 percent, according to the Associated Press. Several UNL students said they were happy without private loans. “I’m glad, because they don’t sound like a very good deal,” said Dan Eschliman, a senior music and religious studies major. He relies on federal loans, he said, but added he’d heard private loans have higher interest and fewer benefits. “I was trying to stay away from them,” agreed
Alexandria Copeland, a freshman film studies major. “I was told you shouldn’t get loans, but if you do, you should get them from the school.” Indeed, while private loans may be helpful in attaining a degree, they sometimes come with a tougher path to repayment than the federal variety, Munier said. “They’re not regulated in the same way federal loans are,” he said, though he added it’s not a market free-forall, either. “It’d be more akin to other kinds of consumer loans.” For example, federal loans’ interest rates — the charge for receiving the money, usually a percentage of the original loan amount — are fixed for each loan’s lifetime and are at least partly subject to public will. Interest on private loans, on the other hand, can vary from half the federal rate to more than double, even while a student is still paying off the loan. Private loans also don’t generally have the same selection of repayment options that federal loans can bring. Nonetheless, private loans can be attractive for a variety of reasons, Munier said. Some students don’t fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for personal reasons, co-sign a loan with their parents or aren’t making the academic progress necessary to get federal loans — at UNL, that means passing more than half of each semester’s courses. “All of those can be factors for why students choose to find alternative private loans,” Munier said. But turning to private loans, even as a last resort, doesn’t solve everything. For Luft, the price has become too high. “That’s part of the reason I’m not coming back next year, because it’s so expensive,” Luft said.“It’s going to be tough, but think it needs to happen.”
*deferred repayment (pay nothing while in school)
15 years interest: (Variable) 2.24 percent to 10.12 percent limit: Cost of education, other aid
story by Dan Holtmeyer
Charter One TruFit Student Loan features:
Six-month grace period Three payment options: interest repayment (pay interest while in school) *fixed repayment ($25 per month while in school)
*deferred repayment (pay nothing while in school)
Luft is looking at colleges in Texas. She wants to go to veterinary school, she said, which will bring plenty of its own debt. Something had to give. “I would probably be in debt for the rest of my life (otherwise),” Luft said. “Especially since my parents are paying for it all, I feel like I’m being sort of selfish.” Past figures on UNL’s percentage of private loans weren’t available, Munier said, but the share would likely be larger if one aspect of federal student aid hadn’t changed in 2006. That year, federal PLUS loans, which originally went to parents on behalf of their children in college, were opened up to graduate students. PLUS loans have steeper interest rates but can be large enough to cover education costs left over from other aid. “Graduate and professional students were the largest borrowers of private, alternative loans,” Munier wrote in an email. “Today much of that borrowing has shifted to the Federal Grad PLUS loan program.” But Munier said he was concerned the percentage may increase if Congress allows the interest on subsidized Stafford loans to double back to its original, pre-recession level. “Private loans may, for some borrowers, appear to be more attractive,” Munier said, and those borrowers tend to be the most financially stable. “By splitting the risk pool ... that leaves then the higher-risk student borrowers only in the federal program.” The federal system depends on a mix of risk, Munier said, which allows the government to keep loans available and interest rates low for low-income students. Without this mix, securing a loan and staying in school could become more challenging for those students, Munier said.
Com p ari n g Private a n d Federa l Loa n s
15 years interest: Depends on credit score and repayment option (Fixed) 6.75 to 12.25 percent (Variable) 2.94 to 9.25 percent limit: Cost of education to other aid Federal Stafford Loan
Private loans have a wider variety of interest rates, which can add up to a higher cost than a federal loan over time. But private lenders also can fill in gaps in federal funding that arise in some circumstances. The UNL Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid’s website, www.unl.edu/scholfa, maintains a list of every lender that has loaned to UNL students. None of them pay to be placed on the list, according to director Craig Munier, and the lenders are listed randomly every time the page is refreshed. Here’s a list of several major lenders and their options, with the federal Stafford loan included for comparison. Note: Variable interest rates can change during payment. When it applies, * denotes the payment option chosen for each loan example.
Six-month grace period Five repayment options: standard extended graduated income-based income-contingent repayment schedule: 10 years. This can be extended up to 25 years for some students. interest: (Fixed) 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, depending on when the loan was given and whether it’s subsidized or unsubsidized. limit: $5,500 to $12,500/year, depending on year in school and legal dependence on parents.
50monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
smith: from 23 a finalist and winner. I know the process — National Merit is the reason I’m at Nebraska, and I couldn’t be happier. But let’s be honest. My roommate freshman year was also a National Merit Scholar. When he came back from the chemistry tests I understand are designed to ruin freshman GPAs, I’d ask him what he got. And he’d say anywhere from 95 to 99 percent, every time. His PSAT score was a lot higher than mine, and rightfully so. To win a National Merit Scholarship, you need to score above a certain percentile in your state, which varies year to year. If you’re named a semi-finalist, you can almost guarantee you’ll be a finalist, because only 1,000 out of 16,000 semi-finalists don’t make the cut. To confirm finalist status, you have to take the SAT (and remember, you’re already good at standardized tests, because that’s what the PSAT measures), have a high GPA and write a short personal statement. That’s it. Then, free college at a number of high-quality institutions nationwide, and also Oklahoma. Even National Merit doesn’t pay for everything, though, and neither does the Regents. Say you want to study abroad, something I’ve heard described as “the new internship.” Once upon a time, getting a good internship meant you could get a good job after college. Heck, once upon a time, getting a degree meant you could get a good job. Anyway, now study abroad is one of those differentiating factors in an ever-growing pile of resumes. Problem: Study abroad costs a lot. Programs don’t always differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. If that’s the case, National Merit will only pay the amount set aside for in-state credit hours. Regents Scholars only get the money for in-state hours, too. What that means is for a program like the one I did in Jordan, 15 credit hours netted me $2,973.75 in funding. If I’d stayed at Nebraska, I would have had $8,823.75 in funding. That’s a huge financial disincentive to study abroad. I’m sorry. I’ve neglected a group here. What about the murky middle, the gigantic gap between extremely poor and generally wealthy? What about those parents who struggle to make ends meet and can’t pay for their children’s educations? That’s almost all college students today. And for those students, not only are there financial disincentives to study abroad, there are financial impossibilities against doing so. This harms
INEQUALITY: from 8 our future job prospects. Anyway, in order for me to study abroad — and that’s with the financial support of my scholarship — I had to go out and seek out additional funds. A lot of them. UNL has a few study abroad scholarships, and those were somewhat helpful, but for me to study abroad debt-free, I went calling to Uncle Sam. Getting money out of the Department of Defense is no easy thing, unless you’re Halliburton, but somehow, I got funding. The catch? I have to work in our national security establishment at some point in the future. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or, it seems, a free scholarship. So far I’ve only addressed tuition and some extra programs. But what about housing? UNL, like many universities nationwide, mandates that freshmen live in dorms. That’s probably a good thing — there’s good anecdotal evidence that dorms build community and help students, particularly those without friend groups, make friends. But my God, University Housing is expensive. Students pay for convenience, safety and clean bathrooms and get a small room with a roommate. Or they pay more and get a small room with no roommate. Or, they pay an exorbitant amount and get a small room with no roommate but three flat-mates sharing a common living space. With a meal plan. With numbers like the ones from University Housing, it’s a wonder anyone graduates debt-free. I couldn’t have made it through my sophomore year without the support of my parents, who’d saved enough in a college fund to meet the couple thousand dollars of housing costs above my scholarship in my sophomore year. But I got out of the dorms quick: living off campus, I lose the convenience (and arguably the safety), but gain rent of only $235 a month for my half of a two-bedroom apartment. Speaking of apartments: Students, why are you living in Courtyards or
Village? If you separate out the cost of your smaller-than-a-dorm-room room into monthly payments (which Housing does for you), each person pays $598 a month in a four-person apartment for a yearlong contract. Let’s do the math together. That’s $2,392 pooled together. Per month. Do you know the kind of apartment you can get for more than $2,000 a month in Lincoln? The kind of house you can get? Save your money, students. Some helpful advice. Graduating debt-free is no easy task. Getting there requires more than just hard work in college; it requires either horrible or excellent personal financial circumstances, plus an intellect that can take tests well. That system is tremendously discriminatory against the vast majority of students who are intelligent, hard-working individuals trying to get the best guarantee of a job after graduation they can: a degree. It’s tough to maintain, too, even for the lucky ones: keeping a Regents or National Merit Scholarship requires a 3.5 GPA, something that can be quickly lost in the first year of college coursework. I’m lucky to have had the support from the university and my family allowing me to graduate debt-free. My family has long believed paying for tuition just spoils children and doesn’t teach them financial responsibility. They’re right. But with debt burdens as high as they are, parents shouldn’t be blamed for supporting their children in college. Hearing about the types of students who graduate without debt probably isn’t very helpful to those who are crushed under the weight of loans. But that’s exactly my point. Debt-free students are a small portion of our population. Something needs to be done to make that portion a lot larger. Zach Smith is a senior music and political science major. Follow him on Twitter at @smithzach and reach him at zachsmith@ dailynebraskan.com.
Do you know the kind of apartment you can get for more than $2,000 a month in Lincoln? The kind of house you can get? Save your money, students. Some helpful advice.
ways (they) can help lessen the cost of higher education.” Carr pointed out a hidden incentive to filling out scholarship application essays: the opportunity for self-reflection that could come in handy down the road. “It’s invaluable for when somebody is applying for a job or an internship,” Carr said. “A lot of times they’ll ask you, ‘Where have you been, where are you now and where are you going?’ Having that internal reflection about where you want
journalist: from 31
“It was just hard,” McCraney said. “My grades started dropping because I was so stressed.” Besides distracting from school work, that stress can cause health problems, Goosby, the assistant sociology professor, said. “Economic tenuousness takes a tremendous toll on people’s health,” she said. “The inequality is trickling into all parts of people’s lives.” Goosby and Winkle-Wagner both said recent pushes at the federal level to protect Pell Grant funding from cuts and expand aid were heading in the right direction, but more remains to be done in the government and within UNL. “We must protect the Pell Grant for all these reasons, and in fact I think we should come up with something even better,” Winkle-Wagner said. “We really need to think more about how are we including underrepresented groups in various disciplines.” Beyond that, Goosby said, a philosophical change needs to happen. “Ultimately ... there’s been a shift away from the dialogue of thinking of education as a good investment,” she said. In 2009, Nebraska joined several states in banning state institutions from considering an applicant’s race during the admissions process. But education can be a societal good, Goosby said, feeding the seeds of jobs and innovation. Otherwise, she said, the “great leveller” function of education could fade. “College becomes something that only the wealthy can go to — is this the kind of society we want?” Goosby said. “We need to move beyond, ‘Well, students are going to have to figure out how to pay for it.’” Danholtmeyer@ dailynebraskan.com
whalen: from 17 instead emphasize quality sports that the university community, both men and women, desires, and on the safeguarding of the conditions under which both sexes play. This could be achieved through direct polling of students or through student organizations like the University Program Council. Universities and athletics departments are not for-profit institutions. The University of NebraskaLincoln exists to provide the state of Nebraska with good citizens, not football or tennis titles. Athletics, particularly women’s, have become the least financially efficient way to produce those, and, because of the current format of Title IX, little can be done about it. If saying so is taboo, then so be it. sean whalen is a senior news-editorial major. reach him at seanwhalen@ dailynebraskan.com
carr: from 22 Loans may be unavoidable for many college students, Carr said, but students should make an active effort to earn scholarships as well. His prime tip for those seeking scholarships is to not only search individually but also to ask others for leads. “In the conversation of ‘Where am I going to school; what am I going to do,’ an integral part needs to be ‘How am I going to pay for it?’ Students need to be thinking about what
monday, aPril 23, 2012
to go can help you find ways to get there.” Carr’s mother encouraged students to apply for as many scholarships as possible — even if they don’t think they have a chance. “You never know,” she said. “You might be just the one they’re looking for.” jacymarmaduke@ dailynebraskan.com
andrew dickinson | daily nebraskan
Shannon Smith poses for a portrait in front of the College of Journalism, from which she graduated, on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus on March 27. Smith had trouble finding a job in the field of journalism after graduation and has now enlisted in the Navy as a mass communications specialist. She is currently in basic training. releases about sailors returning home or for foreign ports an American vessel might be sailing into. If stationed on an aircraft carrier, Smith might also receive a shot at broadcasting. Daily newscasts are made directly from the ship. Each segment includes information about upcoming missions, features on sailors on the ship and daily headlines, among other things. Smith expressed enthusiasm for the “exciting things” she may be allowed to do, including taking photos from helicopters. “When she started working in the field ... she realized there are different various jobs that we don’t associate with our stereotypical degree, but they’re still very good,” explained her friend Kate Stevenson who, like Smith, is working in a different job from the field where she earned her degree. She is a makeup designer for Clinique, but she graduated with a degree in advertising. Smith said her family and friends have been supportive of
her decision to join the military. In fact, they seem to be more afraid of what she will do to the military than of what it could do to her. Her mother said she worries about her daughter joining the Navy with all of the current conflicts in the world, adding jokingly she worries about how outspoken she can be. “I guess I worry that they were making her do push-ups all the time, just at all hours of the night,” said Kris Knowlton, Smith’s boyfriend. “I was worried that she wouldn’t be happy ... that it would be more PR instead of journalism.” But Smith said she sees the decision as a sensible career move and, if she likes it enough, she can even see herself extending her contract. If anything, she said the experience she gathers will give her a leg up in the job market once she is finished. “I’m going to take every lesson that I can from this,”she said. “Even if it’s not what I thought it
their struggle to find an ideal job. “Neither of us felt that UNL didn’t prepare us,” she said. “In general, people have misconceptions about what they will do when they graduate. Basically, having a degree teaches you how to finish something.” Wi n t e r added the College of Journalism and Mass Communications tries to prepare students to find professional positions of shannon smith outside unl graduate school and to be “rock stars” in those jobs, but that’s where the school’s preciate not having the anxiety of agency ends. debt over her head later in life. “I wish we could control job Stevenson said neither she nor placement ... but we don’t have Smith blame their education for would be, I’m going to take it and grow it into something I can do better.” In addition, Smith said she graduated with about $25,000 dollars in student debt, which the Navy will pay off as part of her contract. She said she will ap-
I’m going to take every lesson that I can from this,” she said. “Even if it’s not what I thought it would be, I’m going to take it and grow it into something I can do better.
that power,” he said. “We’re not the bosses. What we can do is we can prepare them to have that great job.” And Knowlton said Smith doesn’t seem to mind her new lifestyle. He just received a few letters from her, and aside from a few immature cadets, she seems to be fitting in. “It sounds like she’s doing well, keeping her head down and keeping out of trouble,” he said. Smith said she doesn’t know how everything will turn out in the Navy or what her next move will be after her five years are up, but that’s the very lesson she’s learned. “I don’t want my story to be one of desperation,” she said. “I don’t look at it that way; I look at it like, this is life. Life’s going to take you weird places, you just have to be open to new experiences ... and hopefully, I’ll still be an amazing journalist.” katienelson@ dailynebraskan.com
52monday, April 23, 2012
Daily Nebraskan Daily Nebraskan
mason: from 31 organization. Paying multiple bills on time every month, working 40 hours a week while taking 20 credit hours while being a resident assistant and president of a club or two. Not me. My attention is taken by whatever is in front of me. Whether it’s a clearance sale, Facebook or a boy I like — nothing gets done unless I can see it. It’s called Attention Deficit Disorder, and I needed a clear path to my degree. Each semester I took my loan and grant money and paid all of my bills in advance. I knew myself and how distracting, well, anything could be. Car insurance, rent, renter’s insurance and phone bills — I made sure it was paid through the semester. With that reprieve, the only thing in front
monday, aPril 23, 2012
howard: from 38 of me was my educational goal. I had control, stability and a future. That’s what student loans gave me. While they are in fact loans, they bridged a gap.
Is education too expensive? Of course it is. Going into debt for 20 years or more for as noble a cause as learning isn’t really fair. But, for me, that debt saved my life. And is it worth the nearly $40,000 I owe? There’s no question in my mind. Maybe there’s a larger issue here — we pay too much for something the government should let us have, and there shouldn’t be a price on
enlightenment or personal fulfillment. Someday, perhaps, our dreams won’t have a price tag. But that isn’t today’s reality. And since it isn’t, I’m grateful for the reality that is — that I could get financial aid regardless of my credit score, snarky attitude or shitty organizational skills. Hey, maybe now, with the responsibility of loan repayment, I can tackle financial independence. I’ve already learned the beauty of consolidation. Yes, I have debt. But that debt was an opportunity I wasn’t going to get any other way. It represents a million beautiful and agonizing experiences. It cleared the clouds and laid a path and
for the first time I know this: My future is real. I see it with my own eyes. I can touch it. I can even taste it. It starts and ends in the very place my feet are planted. I feared it for so long I didn’t know I was looking at it at first — because it seemed like just a wall. But it wasn’t a wall. Lacey Mason is a 2011 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a former assistant opinion editor at the Daily Nebraskan. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
croghan: from 41 out-of-state tuition. According to the Office of Admissions website, in-state students pay $7,648 for tuition annually; outof-state students pay $19,932. The discrepancies don’t end there. An in-state student pays $208.25 per credit hour, whereas out-of-state students pay $617.75. That’s almost 300 percent larger amount than in-state. If it takes 124 credits to graduate with a degree, that means a nonresident will pay $76,601 for his or her course load. That person’s in-state counterpart will pay a “measly” $25,823. Huh. The in-state person’s number is almost exactly equal to the average student loan debt one faces after college. Also, it should be noted that many college students don’t graduate in four years, and this trend has been occurring for a while. In the Tuscaloosa News, the trend was recorded in 1986: At this time, 25 percent of college students took five or more years to receive their undergraduate degree. The trend continues, and more people are graduating after a less “traditional” route. A 1994 New York Times article states, “Less than one-third of the college class of 1990 ... had earned undergraduate degrees within four years.” Think this is a problem of the past? It’s not. It was discussed in 2001 in The Post and Courier, the daily newspaper of Charleston, S.C: “College students take more than four years to earn a degree these days, crowding schools and pinching pocketbooks.” That was the beginning of the new millennium. One decade later, the outlook is still gloomy. If the tradition of graduating in four years is dissipating, why isn’t the tradition of leaving your home state for college not being welcomed by the NU system? The school should be all about boosting its enrollment; more students mean more money. We should be all about improving our recruitment efforts. What piqued my interest wasn’t even the higher tuition, or how ridiculous the price difference is for an in-state or out-of-state Husker. It’s the justification for the drastic price difference. The price difference comes from the taxes paid by
Nebraskans. Because Nebraskans are taxed, and part of that tax money goes exclusively into the University of Nebraska system, then that money is used exclusively for native Nebraskans attending Nebraskan colleges. There are several holes in this logic. The first deals with who has been investing their hard-earned tax dollars into the NU system. It surely isn’t the 18-year-old college applicant. If he or she is a Nebraska native, they’ve paid taxes ... for less than two years, if at all. If he or she is from out-of-state, he or she has invested the same miniscule amount into his or her state’s public university system. The out-of-state tuition isn’t justified by the 18-year-old’s minimal tax input, though. It’s justified by looking into his or her parent’s income. This is unfair for more reasons. What if the parents have decided they’re not helping out with their child’s higher education expenses? This may seem heartless at first, but it’s not necessarily so. Those Parent PLUS loans start accumulating interest as soon as they’re taken out. There’s no wait for graduation. That credit score which enabled your parents to co-sign for your loans is also lowering their credit score. Fact: Out-of-state students make up more than 24 percent of the UNL population, according to page 56 of the UNL Factbook. Yet these students are subjected to paying significantly more than their in-state counterparts. The requirements to receive in-state tuition are also asinine. If you live in the dorms for a year, you’re still not a resident, even if you use that address as your permanent one. Why? Because it’s impossible to consider your dorm address a permanent one for the sake of tuition purposes. Because you lived on-campus during the academic year (and not during the summer), you won’t meet Nebraska’s residency requirements. Nebraska residency standards require you to be at one Nebraska address for 12 months. In other words, even if you stay within the state borders for more than a year, if you don’t keep the same address, you can never become a resident for tuition purposes. Does that seem like nonsense to you? It should. This
The NU system isn’t bent on keeping kids out, but it’s not doing enough to get more kids to come here.
tuition difference leads some students to dropping out entirely for the sake of receiving in-state tuition the following year. This is problematic because most kids don’t return to school after dropping out. They become overwhelmed with the financial difficulties of the real world without the ability to progress without their degree. The vicious cycle mentioned earlier strikes again. Also, without out-of-state influence, much of the quintessential Husker iconography wouldn’t exist. The artist who first drew Herbie Husker? His name’s Dirk West, and he was a Lubbock, Texas, native. And for those football fans who hate Lil’ Red, he was designed by a Nebraska native. Just some food for thought. The NU system isn’t bent on keeping kids out, but it’s not doing enough to get more kids to come here. There’s the Nebraska Legacy Scholarship, which pays the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition. However, you have to receive it your freshman year; it’s not available to students who have already enrolled. We live in a world where it’s nearly impossible to pay your way through school without debt (or without well-to-do parents). The world does a lot of criticizing those in student loan debt rather than trying to see the problem through the debtor’s perspective. This is evident even in our government. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx of North Carolina recently said she has “very little tolerance” for students in debt. The purpose of a state university is to specifically educate people within its borders. However, how can you truly consider yourself educated if you’re not exposed to other thoughts, opinions or social customs from the U.S. and abroad? Little good comes from confiding yourself solely to Nebraska. This is a detriment to students from Nebraska, who are in college to learn, and students from other places, who’ve decided to be here for a variety of reasons. I’m not arguing there shouldn’t be a price difference. But it shouldn’t be nearly as drastic as it is. The price difference places out-of-state students into crippling debt. Where you call “home” shouldn’t hinder your from calling the University of Nebraska-Lincoln your second home. Damien Croghan is an out-of-state, tuition-paying senior, who will be attending UNL for 5+ years. Reach him at damiencroghan@ dailynebraskan.com.
bill from UNL. Besides taking more classes from the community college, Chris worked while his parents supported him with a place to stay. His father managed to find another job, but it was nowhere near the amount of pay he was making before, Carrie said. Despite his father’s wish for him to transfer to an Illinois college, Chris still wanted to return to UNL. He said the people made him want to stay. “I have unfinished business to take care of,” Chris said. “I want to get a degree from here.” In December 2010, Chris’s probation at UNL was removed. He could return to school for the second time. Upon readmittance, Chris went back to UNL in the spring of 2011. But recently — based on the $60,000 in debt he’s accumulated since he initially started his on-again-off-again education at UNL in the fall of 2006 — Chris has been concerned that he won’t be able to have his dream job. At least not right away. Chris is currently an intern for Lighthouse, a program that provides after-school care and activities for Lincoln youth. He could see himself working someplace similar after college. But it might not pay the bills. Chris is the middle of five children and will graduate in August. His brother Jeff will graduate this May and his mom Carrie in December. Chris’ parents initially wanted him to attend school in Illinois so he could receive more financial aid. But he wasn’t interested. He loved the idea of being a UNL student. After repeated discussions, Chris’ parents respected his decision to go to UNL. Chris is involved in many student organizations at UNL: Campus Nightlife, Afrikan People’s Union, Invisible Children and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Carrie said her son spent almost every summer as he grew up building homes with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds houses for people in need. Carrie said the family knows it will be paying off student loans for a long time. “We’re all going to help pitch in and do as much as we can,” she said. Chris said one of his goals in life is to move to California and become a program director of an organization that helps kids. He also hopes to be married, raise a family and live a laid-back life near mountains and palm trees. Chris said he won’t allow his children to go through the amount of difficulty student debt has caused him during the six years he’s been attending college. “I’ll be raising money for them as soon as they’re born,” he said. On top of his debt from UNL, Chris still owes about $6,000 in loan payments to Prairie State. He said he needs to buckle down on a career soon because he’ll have to begin paying off his $60,000 in loan fees starting in February. Carrie said she believes the government needs to find a better way of helping students get through college, especially those who want to be there. “If there are kids that are hard-working and sincere about school, they should get the help,” she said. “There are some kids who truly want to make a difference.” conordunn@ dailynebraskan.com
Chris Howard plays basketball with children and other interns in the Lighthouse afterschool program April 19 in the Lighthouse’s gymnasium. Howard hopes to become a program director of an organization that helps children.
duggan: from 13 brewer: from 28 Bristol said another reason she decided to take classes at SCC was because she heard the classes were easier there. But she said that hasn’t really been the case. “I thought it was going to be a lot easier,” Bristol said. “And I’m sure it is because anatomy is notorious at UNL, but it’s still pretty hard at SCC. My professor told us the first day that only a third of the people pass who take it.” Brewer said that he misses the fun atmosphere of Lincoln’s campus now that he has transferred. “It seems to me that (UNO) is just a lesser version of Lincoln,” he said. “Lincoln was a lot
more active and there was always something going on. There were cool sporting events to go to that were actually fun.” Brewer added that he feels like his classes at UNO are not at the same level as the ones he took at UNL. “The classes here are a little bit easier,” said Brewer, who said he has hopes to transfer back to UNL in the future.“They don’t have as many extra assignments.” Brewer spoke about a history class he took at UNL where he had to write multiple papers about certain people in history. At UNO, he said he took a history class and all they did
was take tests. “I’m not sure the extra assignments were necessarily that beneficial to me at Lincoln,” Brewer said. “It’s just different here.” Brewer said most of his credits from UNL transferred easily to UNO. He also said that he knew a lot of students at UNO before he transferred there, which made the switch easier. “I didn’t feel like an outcast when I came to Omaha. I already knew tons of people,” he said. Still, Brewer said he was disappointed about leaving Lincoln behind because of high living costs.
“Lincoln was just a more fun college experience,” Brewer said. “You get to do more and there’s a lot more variety.” Bristol said she hopes UNL will find a better financial aid solution in the future to help students like her who are paying for all their own schooling. “I don’t know how it could be turned around for students who do well in school and are passionate,” she said. “But I wish something could be figured out.” cristinawoodworth@ dailynebraskan.com
Avoid unpaid internships if possible. Very few names are worth the countless summer hours of free labor. A paying job trumps a nonpaying job, as far as fighting debt is concerned. The only time one should consider doing an unpaid internship is when the internship offers experience in a very specialized field that can’t be gained elsewhere. Whether the experience is worth not getting paid is up to you. If you find a job in your hometown, it’s even better. Hopefully your parents or family friends are willing to take you in for a few months, meaning rent is relatively cheap. You won’t have to worry about bills, and surely some of your meals will be provided. I know the idea of going back home to work might not seem as prestigious as taking an internship in another state, but it’s the most economical choice. If specific work experience for a future career isn’t necessary, what’s the point of working somewhere while paying living expenses if you can work at home while living with the parents? Is it because it hurts your self-image of independence? Living smart isn’t always living
cool. So if you have the option, working at home can be a major relief to expenses and help to minimize debt. Also, try to work a part-time job, but don’t expect this to pay for tuition. It shouldn’t. The job will simply help pay for rent and other daily expenses, allowing much of the money earned during the summer to be directed toward school expenses. Another way to minimize debt is by searching for scholarships. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers many scholarships, but they don’t end there. Outside the school are countless private and national scholarships you can apply for. Think of it as a small job. If you spend an hour or two periodically checking for scholarships, apply for a handful, and manage to get a small scholarship worth $500, you are earning close to $100 per hour. Finally, I could delve into effective budgeting that would help one save money in the long run, but I will refrain. Quite simply, be smart with your money. Going to the bars every weekend and living a life of luxury while in college is a good
way to burn up money fast. Live within your means and try not to indulge too much. If doing that proves to be too hard, create a budget sheet, or only allow yourself a certain amount of money to spend per week. I’m not nearly organized enough to keep tabs on my expenses and limiting myself that way, so I have another method. At the beginning of the week, I withdraw $20 that can be used for anything from coffee, a non-packed lunch, or a late-night Taco Bell run. If I have plans to go out during the weekend, I avoid those things during the week so I have that money then. If the money runs out, I have to wait until the next week for more. These weeks I’m often the designated driver for lack of money. Budgeting in whatever way you find effective will help reduce expenses in the long run and will increase the amount of money you can use toward tuition, thus decreasing debt. Ryan Duggan is a junior English and Classic Languages major. Reach him at ryanduggan@ dailynebraskan.com
monday, April 23, 2012
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By the same token, Abel said that intellectual tools and studies. His exposure to myriad classes, majors and professors professional tools need not be considered separately. Doing has been indispensable to Claussen’s college life thus far. so may leave students with degrees in the humanities deemed “I think it’s been very rewarding to be able to change majors 7 # 39 6 4 impractical and hard to hire and students in job-centric fields several times and experience so many classes,” he said.“College 5 1 4 without the critical and analytical skills college should provide is a time to explore and find yourself, but you don’t have to 7 9 them, he said. major in something in order to learn about it.” 2 8 “I actually don’t think … a focus on job-preparedness has to Claussen outlined what is lost when classroom education 9 3 negatively affect intellectual life if, as a university, we’d actually is boiled down to the point where context, culture and the de7 1 7 took heed of the possibility … that one might prepare students mand for analytical skills evaporate in favor of the facts. 4 2 much better for the life of work if one gave them intellectual He told the story of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, which was 6 2 8 6 tools from a range of disciplines that would empower them to meant as an homage to Napoleon in the wake of the French 3 5 3 reflect critically on their actions, their capacities and the reasons Revolution when the military icon preached the ideals of freefor what they are doing,”Abel said.“Then, I dom, liberty and equality. When Napoleon V. EASY # 43 V. EASY # 44 think, we actually would open up all kinds of declared himself Emperor of France (brushPage 10 of 25 24 Jul 05 ForRelease ReleaseMonday, Saturday, April 2012 For April 23,21, 2012 interesting debates within the university and ing aside these revolutionary tenants), across disciplinary boundaries.” Beethoven scratched the name “Bonaparte” Madison Hager, a senior English major, off the title page of his score so vigorously attended Lincoln Public Schools’ Arts and that it tore a hole in the paper. Humanities Focus Program during high school “I think that’s a really cool story, but in Editedbyby Will Shortz Edited Will Shortz 0317 order to understand it, but you have to have and has been hearing arguments for the No.No. 0319 relevance of the humanities for years, a trend understanding of history, French, and the ACROSS 44 Actress Flavor Madeline # 41 # 42 9 10 3 4ACROSS 1 5 8 2 7 9 6 40 7 1 3 5 8 6 21 14 92 2 3 3# 43 8104 11 7 116 31212 5 113 2 9 14 4 4 58 95 7 16 56 4 7 2 7 6 83 8 9 # 44 13 she’s pleased to see continue in her courses Napoleonic Wars,” he said.“In a vocational 9 8 5 clouds? 1 6 7 4 2 3 4 9 8 3 2 1 7 5 6 5 6 4 8 3 2 1 7 9 9 3 5 7 2 1 6 8 4 “Blazing High 46 of Hands-in-the-air 11 From Athens, say 6 7 2 9 4 3 5 1 8 2 5 6 4 9 7 1 15 3 8 3 2 1 9 6 7 4 5 8 2 6 1 9 4 8 7 3 5 at UNL. setting you would learn that Symphony No. Saddles” 16 14 15 16 phrase 9 Ancient 4 3 9 product 7 1 8 6 5 2 8 6 5 7 3 9 4 2 1 4 7 9 3 1 5 8 2 6 6 8 4 5 1 3 2 9 7 6 Sharp “Most of my professors have made it a 3 is in E-flat major and was first performed 41 Lite pentathlon event 7 2 8Sharp 4 5 6 1 3 9 9 4 cohort 7 8 1 2 3 6 5 1 3 5 2 8 6 7 9 4 1 5 9 8 7 2 3 4 6 50 McCarthy from point to talk about the humanities and all the in 1805. When we change focus to voca18 5 1 6 2 3 9 8 4 7 43 Guadalajara 1 3 2girls 6 4 5 91717 8 7 6 8 2 7 4189 3 1 5 3197 2 4 6 9 5 1 8 15 Approximately 51 Big name different careers that can feed into,” Hager 10 Labyrinth tional, we lose depth and character.” 8 6 4 3 2 1 9 7 5 5 8 in 1 2 7 3 6 9 4 9 1 8 6 2 3 5 4 7 5 9 3 2 8 6 4 7 1 .264 1 9 3gallons 6 7 5 2 8 4 45 Pedantic 3 quibble 7 4 9 6 8 5 19 1 2 2 520 6 4 7 8 9 3 1 4 1 8 3 5 7 9 6 2 educational said. Casarino argued that acquiring these 21 20 21 22 22 14 “___ Vice” 2 5 7 8 9 4 3 6 1 6 2 9 1 5 4 8 7 3 7 4 3 5 9 1 6 8 2 7 2 6 1 9 4 8 5 3 16 Div. created in 46 Academy funding AwardLooking at the applicability of the critical skills goes beyond claiming a fruitful 15 Days long past madison hager 1969 humanities in jobs not associated with 23 23 24 25 27 higher education. There’s a connection to 52 winning Spread role for 2411 of 25 25 26 www.sudoku.com Page 24 Jul 05 senior english major both 20- and 16 ___ contraceptive 17 It gets the word academia, Abel said the translation of intelcivic responsibility when it comes to knowl54 Birds of prey 26-Across out on an 29 31 lectual skills should be considered valuable, edge of history, culture and ideology. 2628 27 30 28 29 17 Image 55 Vie Etiolates 49 (for) but is unfortunately underemphasized by “The point of education was never to pole 18 Indian New Valentine’s 33 34 57 Eagle’s Incipience the institutions responsible for their preservation. give skills to find a job,” said Casarino, who co-authored the 3032 31 32 33 34 35 phrase added 52 home 18 Destitute “I think one of the great weaknesses of the humanities book “In Praise of the Common” with Antonio Negri.“That’s on Sweethearts 5359 Academy Grp. involved in 19 Redding who 36 38 37 3839 39 40 41 37 40 … has been its failure to make the case that what we are candy in 2010 an important thing to do no doubt, but not with state tax payer the Abbottabad 3635 Award-winning sang “The Dock teaching are, in fact, tools that are more than valuable and money. The point was to create good citizens for a democracy.” raidreleased in 19 of Prince Edward I. film the Bay” 42 42 43 4444 4545 41 43 desirable in the job world,” he said. “For example, in an age Who’s responsible for the deliverance at that “point” though is clock setting 1972 60 March Onomatopoeic 20 Academy where most jobs — good jobs, at least — have something to open for debate. Professors often have the opportunity in their 57 ___ Major 20 Having an game on “The 46 47 48 46 49 5048 Award winner 47 do with the analysis of symbols and signs departments such classrooms to frame the broader meaning of their material as (constellation) underwhelmed Price Is Right” for playing as English should be relevant precisely because what we do.” they see fit. Some argue that students are responsible for shapresponse 58 Skyethe of 62 Actress Time near 52 54 46-Across 4951 50 51 52 53 Like Abel, Claussen expressed understanding as to why ing their college experience with an academic focal point. “Say 22 Essence endAnything of a time…” students might not seek intellectual experiences, especially Claussen supports a balance. 23 Backbone rangefor gold to 5355 56 58 59 59 Place 23 Thought after 54 57 55 56 given the cost of tuition, outside their major. “I think the role needs to a partnership between professor 25 Let out, as a stored have a an after64 be It might “I think it’s the case when students have a certain amount and student,” he said.“But it’s the responsibility of the professor, fishing line 60 61 62 63 afterthought: 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 Encounter crust of money, they’re not going to spend it learning to think who’s been on this journey, to guide the students.” 26 Academy Abbr. 64 coffee critically,” he said. “At that moment they’re more interested in Jane Seu, a sophomore political science major, said that the 65 Large Sophocles 65 6364 64 65 25 Award Freshenwinner holders thinking they could provide for themselves.” steps toward creating a rewarding intellectual experience in coltribute for playing 27 Scramble For students in the humanities, Seu said she thinks the lege vary across disciplines. that begins 65 Follow 66 67 46-Across 66 67 68 best course of action may be focusing on making the col“In something like engineering or journalism, your career “Numberless 28 Hot 66 Rose of the 30 “Can’t Get It Out lege experience all it can be and accepting that the future as are the world’s and the path to get there is more laid out for you,” she said.“In diamond 30 War cry of the PUZZLE BY DAVID QUARFOOT PUZZLE BY JEREMY HORWITZ of My Head” wonders …” indefinite and full of possibilities. political science, it is much more of what you make it.” ’60s grp. 67 Butcher’s stock rock “People in the arts might kind of panic in that their field of Check that’s Dock, in a way 42 What 46 Rare dynamic But any field of study can become vocational, Claussen 22 21 Termini may give 66 Wild Language of the 6 3Ballyhoo 32 Smooth 68 West 31 Clear part of inked, perhaps marking seen education doesn’t seem to lead to jobs that directly correlate argued. It’s the depth of the education that matters and in the pause to couch 24 Itinerary abbr. Afghan national 7 “Let’s Make a 23 Blast from the transport 34 blood “The Da Vinci in Tchaikovsky’s to their study,” she said. “But it’s much more about the experiCollege of Journalism and Mass Communications, where propotatoes? anthem 4Deal” Sharp choice side of a warship 26 Spring locales Code” albino Sixth Symphony ence, as a whole, and what makes you a good student.” fessional preparedness is of the essence, senior news-editorial 32 Either the first or 44 What tank tops 5 Spray 67 Cry from an 8 Gait not as fast 24 29 Homework Character 35 last “Brokeback DOWN Looking forward, Claussen said he’s doubtful, given major Emily Nohr claimed there’s still an all-important balance vowel sound 47 Objects from lack arriving group a canter problem 6asFur source Mountain” 31 Spikes in the economy and the heightened awareness thereof, that 1 World clock std. between practice and theory. in “Alaska” everyday life 47 Ho-humness 9 7W.W. director FishI’soflongest sufficient 33geometry students seeking broad intellectual experiences at their “There’s a marriage of the two: the ethics and the more Spring locales 2 ___ de Janeiro 36 Stratford48 United group battle 26 Brunch or dinner 48 Straying size 36 Hot dog’s relative 3 Consume DOWN university will receive help or encouragement from financial practical reporting skills,” Nohr said.“The professors do a nice 37 1997 Nielsen upon-___ 49 “In order to know job of intertwining the two. There’s fair, maybe not equal, but 10 8Object retrieved 27 Sacha 49 Tree remnant institutions or university decision makers at large. The bur38 Cable inits. Fur sources Medicate titleBaron role 41Lagasse in the 38 Africa’s virtue,ofwe must on an Apollo Cohen alter ego 50 Number den increasingly rests on the student to mold their four-plus fair treatment for both because reporter will undoubtedly face little oneself, say 39 northernmost ___ tree 9 Slangy pronoun kitchen 39 Common mission acquaint undergraduate years into a period of intellectual stimulation and ethical decisions day-to-day.” pigsfirst or blind mice 28 Ancient kind of admission 42 capital “Alas!” 2 Rampaging 5 Japanese robes 10 They’re near ourselves with growth. With classes like Mass Media Law or Mass Media and Soci11 Clarinetist Shaw alphabet 51 Put back to zero, requirement appendices vice” speaker “There’s a difference between learning facts and how one ety, there’s an instructed theory and context to journalism that 12 Congo, from say 29 40 Protein-building Actor who might 11 Stock in an adult interacts with the world,” he said.“With the plan to drop the Nohr said is crucial for performing the act of reporting with an 53 Hold off ANSWERTO TOPREVIOUS PREVIOUSPUZZLE PUZZLE 1971 to 1997 ANSWER acid grin and bare it? 54 Golfer’s cry store number of credits and total number to 130 credit hours per open and ethical frame of mind. 13 Spanish56 Sketch 33 41 Vietnam’s capital and the Director’s cutoff 55 “___ major — five less for people to work with in terms of taking As for what fuels a perception that College of Journalism and Name-brand H TE SB MB OC K ES P DA I C S E C J UA SM 12language PT O King of Siam” 34 42 Complain more classes — you wouldn’t be able to minor in music or take Mass Communications is a purely vocational institution, Nohr targets? that Chorus member? 58 Department H NI EL LA IR TY E RC O AC LA EC AO S L T A O newspaper head? annoyingly 56 Examination that extra history class that sounds interesting. I think that (Pell speculated it may depend on what rhetoric is more accessible to Words below A “light” to an 43 Secrecy, with P M A SI YN SU TS E MO K TA EY XO T K MA E Y 13brings Grants and free education systems) are remarkable, but I don’t ears outside the college. 35 Initial stake 60 Anytown, ___ art 61 Conceptual eagle “the” its readers W O M A N P R I C E L E S S A S T T E P I D A T T A R know if we can universalize it.” “The professional side of things is maybe what we talk about pioneer 37 Steer 61 Schlep 45 Game show 14 A biochemical P M P PA SN E R EL NE EN WI N O L I O 21 Author Stephen more,” she said.“As journalism students, it’s at the forefront of chancesolem-pfeifer@ 63 Line from Homer purchase solid 62 Links peg 39 Politico Palin Vincent ___ I R AN TA EI V RE E BG EA LN YD EA L L L F our minds. Media theory and ethics is maybe not as sexy of a dailynebraskan.com conversation to have.” LS EI GN AS T OA B SA I L AE SA S E L For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814LT O E EI L H AT ME C TH LY C V U I PN A E For5554. 5554. A N N SU OM S A DT O SE E AE SA OS N E Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 G years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. P RA AG G I SI EF GT O DR A SM NE EN R D years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit nytimes.com/mobilexword L O O P S E G G S users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit nytimes.com/mobilexword P E L L S O W E D E R N S AT&T for more information. M P A LS ET SE R OK NE SY E TA G NA S P C E for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle more 2,000 puzzles, nytimes.com/ Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle andand more thanthan 2,000 pastpast puzzles, nytimes.com/ A P L PI NH KA OB E LT A TA EN DE AM T I E A crosswords crosswords ($39.95 a year). ($39.95 a year). C P I EA TA G I NE N OT D ED T I OR ME AC N T Share Share tips: nytimes.com/wordplay. tips: nytimes.com/wordplay. H Crosswords young solvers: nytimes.com/learning/xwords. pected, according to Munier. cuts and the elimination of some study programs, for example, P AE SN HN TE OS S WY E RM EE HS E S R E E S Crosswords forfor young solvers: nytimes.com/learning/xwords. “Higher education, by its very nature, works on the cutting while a new multicultural center and physics building have edge,” Munier said. “That event horizon of the newest technolcome online and an expansion on Memorial Stadium has ogy is more expensive.” begun. But, it should also be noted, donors fund much of those danholtmeyer@ projects and UNL’s tuition has steadily increased at about dailynebraskan.com 4 or 5 percent each year, a rate considered normal and ex-
Most of my professors have made it a point to talk about the humanities and all the different careers that can feed into.
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they’ll have to buy their own insurance. If they’re under age 21, they have to pay even more. How about cellphones? Yeah, your parents would like to talk with you on the phone every now and then, even if it only takes five or six hours to go back home. For international students, it normally takes more than 10 hours to fly back home. Parents are eager to talk with their kids living on the other side of the world. International students have to have a cellphone. The U.S. national debt is already above $15.6 trillion. The estimated U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 is about $15.06 trillion. Currently, this country owes more than it can produce in one year. On“Fareed Zakaria GPS,”Fareed Zakaria discussed three ways to pay off national debt. First, maintaining a higher economic growth rate than the interest rate, so the country will pay off the debt over time; second, default; third, inflate. During the 2008 financial meltdown, the central bank, or the Federal Reserve (the Fed) took the third approach. The specific methods are pumping money into the economy through purchasing U.S. treasury bills, notes and bonds. Economically speaking, that makes sense. Pumping more money into the U.S. economy will stimulate the economy in the short term. However, the way to get more money is arguably the best way: printing. The direct result is inflation over time. That’s great in terms of paying off the U.S. national debt, but not so great for the American people. The U.S. dollar’s purchasing power was damaged because of inflation. On the other hand, this accelerated appreciations of foreign currencies, especially the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Those countries maintained economic growth during the recession. Their economic achievement, especially their purchasing power, is enlarged because of the United States’ actions. As much tuition as the foreign students pay, they aren’t in debt. In the age of globalization, our university’s fundraising efforts should also implement some global perspectives, taking into consideration that the middle class is also growing rapidly outside of the United States. To make us a greater and stronger university, we need to not only recruit talents within the country, but also all across the world. To make it fair, Husker alumni living outside the U.S. should also contribute their fair share to this university. In the long run, the university will get more money and give out more scholarships. This helps American students in tackling their debts. Here is the reality. Some universities are taking actions, while some are waiting. Which one are we trying to be? If you are a student in debt, what would you like our university to do? Jiajun (Abe) Xu is a junior finance and economics major from China. Reach him at jiajunxu@ dailynebraskan.com.
barnhill: from 24 biking and cheap food, the mountain of debt — is worth it to Barnhill, who said he’s wanted to be a doctor “since who knows when. ” The pay isn’t bad, either, making it at least that much easier to tear down that mountain. “By the time he’s a practicing surgeon, he’s been out of school for six years,” Walker said, “but command(s) a salary of $300,000.” Watching the doctors deal with his knee and wrist injuries sophomore year pushed him toward an interest in orthopedic surgery, which centers on muscles, bones and joints. But, Barnhill said, he anticipates that changing throughout med school. The career that costs so much debt to attain can also bring the ticket to paying it off. In Nebraska, Walker said, medical students can have up to $200,000 in debt cleared on a yearfor-year basis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if they agree to work in a rural, critical shortage area in one of several areas of medicine. “They are with populations less than 3,000 people,” Walker said, adding the Nebraska towns that most often come to people’s minds — Kearney or Grand Island, for example — don’t qualify. “Oftentimes there are no physicians” in those areas, she said, but very few students take the offer. Barnhill said he was tipped off to the program by a family friend, also a doctor, and plans to look into it. It only covers certain areas of medicine and orthopedic surgery isn’t among them, Walker said. But Barnhill said he’s looking for similar programs elsewhere. Whatever happens and however he pays this debt, Barnhill said, he sees it as an investment in himself. “That’s the way I’m trying to look at it,” he said. “Especially if I get to do something I love.” Danholtmeyer@ dailynebraskan.com
56monday, April 23, 2012
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Housing Roommates 3 Female Rooomates looking for 1 female roommate to fill a room just North of 14th and Superior. 4 bedroom 3 bath, move in June and July. The cost of rent and utilities will be around 385 per month. Near campus, washer/dryer, cable, a/c, and friendly neigborhood. Call/Text/Email Sam firstname.lastname@example.org m Ad: Looking for female roommate starting in May. Gatepark Apartments. Rent is $295 with $175 deposit. We split utilities. Serious inquiries ONLY! email@example.com Female roommate needed for one room in duplex close to city and East campus. Available beginning in May or June to August to finish out lease. Will have 3 other roommates. Nice place with 2 bathrooms and 2 stall garage. Rent $300 + utilities ($40). Call or text (308) 293-7215. Looking for 1 female roommate to sublet apartment for June 1 through August 31. $397.50/month, all utilities except electricity included (about $30/month extra). Located at Hayward Condos on 9th and Charleston- very close to campus. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. Laundry facilities in building. Wood floors, tall ceilings, parking available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested or need more information. Looking for 1, 2, or 3 females to rent rooms in a nice duplex on 1st and W. Irving. Fully furnished (beds, t.v., dishes etc) washer, dryer garage included. $287 plus electric and cable. Contact Jill (402)619-6560 or email@example.com Looking for 1-3 females to sublease a cute, close to campus house. Available May through Aug. Could stay through the school year, if interested! Cheap rent! Call 402-591-9290 Looking for 6 people that would like to sublease a room for the summer, house is availble as early as May 7 and would go until August. The house has 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, the house 5 minutes away from East campus in a very friendly neighborhood. Rent is $287 per person plus electric and gas, if interested please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org Looking for female roommates for 5 bedroom/3 bathroom house in great neighborhood, only 10 minutes north of campus. 2-3 bedrooms available. Ample street parking. Smallest bedroom 10’x11’ with large kitchen, living room, and family room. $300 rent plus utilities. No smokers. Call/text/email Megan at 402-310-5917, email@example.com if interested. Looking for one roommate to live in four bedroom house with 2 female and one male roommates beginning August 8th. 29th and Orchard. Rent $275/month plus utilities. Call/Text/Email Elizabeth at 630-470-4143 or firstname.lastname@example.org Need 1-2 roomates to take over lease at The View apartments from May to August 1st or longer if you’d like. 4 bedroom/2 bath. Rent is only $319 a month plus electric. Apartment has an outdoor pool, hot tub, gym, and free tanning.Please call 402-250-5538 or email email@example.com Need 1-2 roommates to take over lease at view apartments from May-August or longer if you would like. It’s a 4 bed/2 bath unit. Rent is at $319 a month plus electric and I will pay for the month of May, so you only have to pay for June and July. Please call 402-335-0492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Roommates Need 2 roommates to finish house lease from May to August. Rent is $225 a month and utilities are approx. $75 a month. House is located just off 70th and Adams. If interested call 308-201-0745 or email me at email@example.com Need one roommate to finish apartment lease at Claremont Park Apartments May-July. 3 bedroom, 2 bath. Rent $350 per month, plus utilities, please contact Annie at 402-980-1420 or firstname.lastname@example.org Roommate ads are FREE in print and online. E-mail yours to email@example.com and include your name, address and phone number. Roommate wanted for 3 bedroom,3 bathroom house. $425/month, includes utilities, cable, internet, and washer/dryer. Call Amber for more information (402)366-0305 Two females searching for a third roommate. Lease from August 2012 to August 2013. Washer and Dryer included. 308-641-2851 Two females to share a 4 bedroom townhouse north of 14th and Superior, $287.50 plus utilties. Call Autumn at 402-612-1316.
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Duplexes For Rent Close to campus. 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 stall attached garage, $1150 + utilities. 402-432-8485. Victorian - style duplex, Three bedrooms, two baths, full laundry, dishwasher, central air, security system. Avail in June or August. Amrents.com. $695. Call 402-423-1535 for a showing. Sorry no pets. 2904 Q Street.
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Help Wanted GRISANTI’S
Help Wanted Are you a little LEAN on GREEN?
Nebraska Book Company. is looking for a bunch of dependable people to help process used textbooks in our air-conditioned warehouse this summer. It is a solid job working with nice people doing good work helping students save money. 40 hours/week @ $8.00/hr M-F 8 to 5. You get a discount on books to sweeten the deal. Don?t miss it! We start as school winds down. Apply online at www.nebook.jobs under “warehouse staff.” Better Your Money Campaign Internship April 9 through October 31, $8.50/hr 20 hours/week. Want a paid summer internship that involves riding a bike all day, interacting with people and flexing your creativity muscle? We are currently looking for someone to run and operate the Better Your Money Bike Taxi from April through October. The Better Your Money Bike Taxi is a rickshaw that is taken to various events across Nebraska used to advertise local credit unions. You would be responsible for taking the rickshaw to the events, taking pictures at the event and creating a video for the rickshaw at the end of the internship. If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing this summer, please email your resume to Darci Spence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now Hiring for day and evening servers and hosts. Experience not necessary, will train the right people. Flexible hours, meal program, benefits. Apply in person for day or evening, 6820 ‘O’ Street. Join the CenterPointe Team! Part-time positions available in residential program working with substance abuse/mental health clients in a unique environment. Must be at least 21 years of age and be willing to work a varied schedule including overnights and weekends. Pay differential for overnight hours. For more information visit: www.centerpointe.org.
Personnel wanted full-time summer and part-time. Driver’s license required. Call 402-423-3477, 402-430-9909.
Full-time, summer positions installing office furniture. Need driver’s license and tools. Construction or farm experience a plus. Apply at 1801 N. 1st Street. Paycheck Advance is currently seeking customer service representatives to provide quick, accurate, and friendly service to our customers. The ideal candidate will be detail oriented, have prior cash handling experience, sales experience and be self motivated. We offer a competitive starting wage and benefits package including health insurance, paid time off and 401K. Full and part-time positions available. Please apply online at www.delayeddeposit.com or in person at any of our 8 Lincoln locations.
PT Mailroom Person Current Opportunities:
: CEDARS Clinton and Hartley CLC is hiring for positions working with youth in the summer camp and after school program. Work with diverse group of students ages 5-11. Implement lesson plans, assist on field trips, etc. For more information or to apply please visit www.cedars-kids.org
M-F,25-40 hours per week. Wage based on experience. Will work around class schedules. Good driving record required.Send resume to email@example.com Or apply in person: All Needs Computer and Mailing Services, Inc. 8100 South 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68512. 402-421-1083
Do you like to exercise daily and get paid for it? Deliver Daily Nebraskans. You can deliver a route in about an hour. Must have own vehicle, ability to lift and carry 30 lbs, be a UNL student and not have classes before 9:00 a.m. For more information or to apply, contact Dan at 402-472-1769, 20 Nebraska Union. firstname.lastname@example.org.
GO TO CAMP THIS SUMMER!
Get great experience, touch a child’s life forever, work outside, and have fun at YMCA Camp Kitaki. Visit our web site www.ymcalincoln.org/kitaki for descriptions of available positions. It’s the best thing you’ll ever get paid to do! Apply online www.ymcalincolnjobs.org, email email@example.com.
Inbound Customer Service Center Rep Full Time and Part Time
School is almost out – do you have your summer job lined up? We will have a training class this summer, and we’ll work with your school schedule in the fall! Daytime and evening shifts available, with weekend hours to work around your class schedule. Speedway Motors is a growing catalog order company that sells classic and performance automotive parts to customers all over the world. Positions are available in our busy Call Center to process orders and answer general customer inquiries. Fun and fast paced. Must be a fast learner, have strong communication skills, an excellent attendance record and be able to provide industry leading customer service. Automotive experience a plus but not required. Computer skills are needed with the ability to type 30 wpm min. Previous customer service experience is required. Apply online www.speedwaymotors.com or in person at: 340 Victory Lane, Lincoln, NE Speedway Motors is a Drug Free Workplace EOE
Help Wanted Summer construction help wanted in Lincoln. Poured concrete foundations, $13/hr to start, end of summer bonus, Must have good driving record, prefer construction management or farm background. Call 402-430-6144.
The Watering Hole
in downtown Lincoln is in desperate need of experienced, reliable line cooks to work in a fun, fast paced environment. Hours vary. Must be willing to work a minimum of 2 shifts per week and a menu test is required. Full and part time positions available. Day or evening availablity accepted. Starting pay is $9-$10/hr depending on experience with a raise possibility after 30 days based on quality of work. Apply within
Summer Jobs Help wanted for custom harvesting. Truck driving. Good wages, guarantee pay. Call 970-483-7490 evenings. PLAY SPORTS! HAVE FUN! SAVE MONEY! Maine camp needs fun loving counselors to teach All land, adventure, & water sports. Great Summer! Call 888-844-8080, apply: campcedar.com
Summer Day Camp Staff
The Lincoln YMCA currently has openings at all of our locations for Summer Day Camp Staff. Must enjoy working with youth. Complimentary Y membership available to qualified staff. Apply online at www.ymcalincolnjobs.org
Business Opp’ties STUDENTPAYOUTS.COM Paid Survey Takers Needed in Lincoln. 100% Free to Join. Click on Surveys.
Seeking PT/FT (various hours) kitchen help. Full service bar, restaurant, carry-out & reception hall primarily serving pizza, sandwiches and appetizers. Experience preferred.
1761 Announcement s Alcoholics Anonymous meeting Mondays 7:30 PM at University Lutheran Chapel 1510 ‘Q’. Public Welcome.
FIFTEENTH (15th*) WEEK POLICY [*the 15th week refers to the last week of classes before finals week] (This policy replaces the former Dead Week Policy)
Final examinations for full semester classes are to be given ONLY at time published in the Official Schedule of Classes or another time DURING FINALS WEEK mutually agreeable to all concerned. The only examinations allowed during the last week (15th week) of classes are: laboratory practical examinations, make-up or repeat examinations, and self-paced examinations. However, the following must be applied: Projects, papers, and speeches scheduled for completion during the last week of classes must have been assigned in writing by the end of the eighth week and must be completed no later then Wednesday of the 15th week. This refers to the project and its scope, but not the topic. Furthermore, ALL requirements, except for the final exam, must also be completed no later than Wednesday of the fifteenth week. If the instructor is replacing the final exam with either a project, paper, or speech, the due date can be any time during the 15th week or during finals week (providing that the assignment has been given by the eighth week. The exception to this is a class meeting one day a week on a Thursday or Friday for which all policies/requirements are shifted to either a Thursday or Friday, respectively. The Fifteenth Week policy does not apply to classes offered by the College of Law. If there is a violation a complaint can be filed at the ASUN office, 136 Nebr. Union or call 472-2581. The Publications Board will meet at 4 p.m., Tuesday to discuss Daily Nebraskan policies in the Daily Nebraskan conference room, 20 Nebraska Union. All may attend.