SA’s Academic Affairs Committee concluded that there is an “urgent need” for UR to expand financial support for students taking summer courses in a report finalized last week, which benchmarked the summer financial aid options offered at universities similar to UR.

According to the report, UR currently only offers summer course-takers loans, which have to be paid back, and TAP grants, which are restricted to New York state residents. The report examined the financial aid offerings of 11 universities with endowments similar to UR’s and found that nearly all of them offered more grant opportunities than UR to their students.

Course credits cost $1,100 each, so the cost of taking a single four-credit summer course is $4,400. Data from SA’s annual survey shows that about 57% of their 362 respondents did not see taking summer courses as a financial possibility.

“The close absence of financial aid for the summer term at the University of Rochester not only places undue strain on our students but also directly contradicts the precedents set by peer institutions, as well as the values put forth by our own University,” the report states.

The report recommends the University offer federal and institutional aid over the summer, including summer Pell Grants and an institutional scholarship or grant specifically for summer students. It also pushes future Academic Affairs Committee members to investigate how UR and other institutions support students’ cost of living over the summer, as current summer cost-of-living aid is mainly tied to employment, according to the report.

The Committee’s findings and recommendations were unanimously endorsed Monday by a vote of the full SA Senate.



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