GIA student fee could rise $1.50

By Pam Schmidt

Prospective NIU students might have to be more competitive for university academic scholarships if a proposal to increase the Grant-In-Aid fee for fiscal year 1989 is not approved.

The GIA fee supports the university scholarship and academic finalists program, which rewards students with exceptional academic achievements by awarding money for tuition and fees, books, and room and board fees.

The proposal would increase the fee about $1.50 per academic year. The current GIA fee, which has not been increased in more than 20 years, is about $3.50 per academic year.

The need for an increase resulted from a tuition hike and other costs over the past few years without an increase in fees to offset the cost of the program, said Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs.

Each year, the university selects about 28 finalists from more than 200 high school senior and college transfer student applications, Student Financial Aid Director Jerry Augsburger said. The scholarships are renewable, which obligates the university to award the recipients up to four years.

“If there is no increase, the number of students would have to be decreased over the next few years,” Augsburger said.

Monetary awards for freshman scholars total more than $12,800 each, and freshman finalists awards total about $1,200 each. College scholars are given $6,400 and college finalists receive $600. The total cost of running the scholarship program is about $110,600.

“To maintain the current number of awards at the same level (of monetary value), there needs to be some increase,” Augsburger said. The fee increase also would allow the program to subsidize six more students, he said.

Originally, part of the GIA fee also supported need-based academic scholarships which were discontinued due to a lack of funds.