Aid available to foreign students

By Moin H. Khan

NIU’s American students get several kinds of financial aid, but unlike foreign graduate students, they cannot receive a tuition waiver in financial emergencies.

A tuition waiver to foreign graduate students is granted solely to meet financial emergencies. The waiver is not related to any academic performance or duty at NIU.

Jerrold Zar, associate provost for graduate studies and research, said American students do not face the same financial situation as foreign students. Some foreign governments suddenly stop any withdrawal of foreign exchange from their native banks, he said.

In fall 1988, NIU awarded 86 such tuition waivers, an increase of 28 percent from 1987.

Jerry Augsburger, student financial aid director, said there is no program for undergraduate students under which they can get a tuition waiver on the basis of unprecendented economic hardships.

“There is no such animal around. You cannot walk in and get a tuition waiver. It will be a total wishful thinking,” Augsburger said.

For financial aid, students have to plan in advance, he said. “Students must anticipate that they are going to experience a financial emergency.”

Admitting the need to create tuition waivers for American financially handicaped students, Marion Miller, chairman of undergraduate academic affairs tuition waiver, said, “It is an area which the university does not cover.”

Miller, who is also director of the University Honors Program, said NIU tries to recruit minority students but is unable to help those minority students who run out of money.

“Unfortunately, the university does not have any funds to meet their (minority students’) needs. It is an area where we have a real problem.”

Miller did not know any program available to undergraduate students similar to the need-based tuition waivers granted to the foreign graduate students.

NIU President John LaTourette could not be reached for comment.

Augsburger said undergraduate students can receive tuition waivers based on merit. These institutional waivers, however, are awarded to recruit and retain outstanding undergraduate students.

According to a memo by Anthony Fusaro, assistant provost for budget and space, institutional tuition waivers can be granted in the following circumstances:

to reward general academic excellence of students;

to assist in program development;

to recruit and retain students with special talent and skills; and

to help students of special education—minorities.

Miller said these waivers are awarded on the basis of academic or musical talent.

Last year, NIU awarded 400 institutional tuition waivers, Augsburger said. Other programs included Illinois Scholarship Commission Monetary Award Program (3,356 students), National Guard (132 students), Special Education Grant for Teachers (168 students), Illinois Veteran Scholarship (306 students), General Assembly Tuition Waiver (200 students) and ROTC (66 students).

Tuesday—the cost of granting tuition waivers and assistantships to foreign graduate students at NIU.