By Ann Tran, Spring 2009
Ann Tran: How has the economy impacted applications or acceptances to our school? Have they increased or decreased?
Dr. Sammons: In brief, our acceptance rates are stable in proportion to the number of applications we receive. Since our applications have increased substantially over the past several years, there has been a proportionate decline in acceptances. At this point, we don’t see a direct effect of the economy on the number of applications, although it is too early in the recruitment season to give an accurate count of applications for the coming year. If inquires regarding the programs are a good index, our applications will be up again next year, but it is unclear if this is related to economic factors.
AT: What is the state of loans going to be for future years at Alliant? You recently said that loan companies are consolidating and it may become more “means-based.” Can you explain what this means and compare it to how loans were determined before? Is there a worry that school loans will decrease?
DS: According to the Department of Education there is not likely to be a decrease in federal student loans. However according to Alliant’s Director of Financial Aid, the private student loan sector has been increasingly stringent in their loan approval and this may have an effect on students with credit ratings that are less than optimal. “Means-based” grants and loans will remain competitive, as they always have been, and students may need to be better able to accurately demonstrate need.
AT: Our tuition has increased continuously since we have started. Is this a product of our economy or something else? What is the money being used for?
DS: Tuition is the major source of revenue for the university. Tuition at Alliant is mid-range for private not-for-profit graduate institutions. We do whatever we can to keep tuition stable and are always concerned about making graduate education as affordable as possible. But since our revenues are tuition dependent, when cost increases occur, the university must increase its revenue to meet the rising costs of operation. Tuition revenue is allotted to many different budgets such as our IT infrastructure, maintenance, development, in addition to that directly supporting program faculty and staff.
AT: Lastly, do you have any final recommendations regarding student loans for students at CSPP? Anything else our school is doing to address this issue?
DS: We are monitoring the student loan picture closely, and will communicate with students on a regular basis regarding any developments that we think may affect our students. We are implementing cost-cutting measures in other areas of administration to ensure that we can preserve the quality of programs we offer students.