Admissions, Retention and Financial Aid Committee
Minutes of the March 15, 2006 ARFAC Meeting
Present: Amundson, Freedman-Gurspan, Hellen, Kelly, Kyle, Phan, Porterfield, Reece, Ruby, Strichartz
- The minutes from the meeting held on February 15, 2006 were upheld.
- Ruby gave update on Hope and Life Long Learning Tax Credits. She explained that not every student qualifies, based on taxes. Each student will receive information about the tax credit when they file their taxes. Reece asked if the tax credit could be used in recruitment efforts. Ruby explained that they do not want to be too aggressive because not every family will qualify. This tax credit is not unique to St. Olaf and is not a financial aid program as much as it is a tax credit.
- Reece asked how parents are notified of increase in tuition. Ruby explained that this year parents did not receive notification, only students did. St. Olaf’s peer institutions do not notify both the parent and student separately. For the Financial Aid department timing of tuition announcement is important because peer institutions use this information competitively. Reece expressed a concern among first-year students that it seemed as if parents were only notified of $600 deposit fee as a “hook” before they were notified of tuition increase. Ruby said that next year the deposit notification and tuition rate will be coordinated together. They are also evaluating what information should go to parents and what information should go to students only.
- Kyle gave update on applications for the incoming class of 2010. There are 3, 520 applications this year, compared with 2,991 applications in 2005. Applicant pool growth may be attributable to new publications from Boe House, more students visiting campus, strong encouragement for students to apply. Generally, many colleges are up in number of applicants. The Admissions office has waitlisted or denied admission to more students this year than historically. Geographic, ethnic, and religious groups have expanded. 98% of admissions decisions have been completed. Kyle is worried about housing if class gets too large. Financial Aid’s role changes with size and characteristics of incoming class. Music, TRiO, Presidential scholarship decisions will be mailed this week. Spring Open house is Saturday, April 8, 2006. Admissions office is being sensitive to gender, geography, and multicultural students in relation to St. Olaf’s strategic plan.
- Ruby reported that monies towards Perkins loans are down because of change in federal regulation. The Associate Colleges of the Midwest are working together to draft a loan with 100% approval. The interest rate on Stafford load is fixed for any loans after July 1, 2006 at 6.8%.
- Phan talked briefly about issues related to admittance of undocumented students. He reported that it is not a question of admitting undocumented students, but supporting them financially. Currently, undocumented students apply as international students. However, undocumented students and international students are ineligible for public/government assistance.
- Next meeting will be Wednesday, April 12, 2006 at 3:30 pm. On the agenda is RPC’s evaluation of current faculty committees, undocumented applicants, first-year experience with reference to the conversation programs, and the first year binder.