Northwestern University says it will offer increased financial aid to incoming freshmen who graduate from high schools in Evanston and Chicago, including eliminating loans and required work-study jobs and providing more scholarship funds.

Northwestern University says it will offer increased financial aid to incoming freshmen who graduate from high schools in Evanston and Chicago, including eliminating loans and required work-study jobs and providing more scholarship funds.

As a result, the school says, many students from those communities who need financial assistance will receive a scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition at Northwestern.

The new Good Neighbor, Great University Scholarship Program, which will begin with next year’s freshman class, will provide additional scholarship funds to students who need financial assistance.

The scholarships will replace student loans, as well as earnings from summer and work-study jobs that students normally must contribute to the cost of their education.

Eliminating these components and replacing them with more scholarship funds could save a student as much as $7,500 per year, or $30,000 over four years. In addition, by eliminating loans, it means that students will not face the challenge of paying off student loan debt as soon as they graduate from college.

The creation of the Good Neighbor, Great University Scholarship program was a key recommendation of an all-University task force on diversity and inclusion that was co-chaired by Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Penelope Peterson, dean of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy.

The task force, which considered a variety of ways to increase diversity in the student population at Northwestern, included students, faculty, staff and members of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.

“Evanston and Chicago are homes to our campuses, and as such, we want to reach out to students from those communities,” President Schapiro said. “By instituting this program, we hope to remove any barriers regarding affordability that would prevent those students from being able to attend Northwestern.”

Students who graduate from either a public or private high school in the cities of Chicago and Evanston and who enter Northwestern as a first-year students starting in fall 2011 will be eligible for the Good Neighbor, Great University scholarships. Students must be admitted to Northwestern through either regular admission or the early decision process.

“Northwestern has a long-standing commitment to enrolling the very brightest students from around the world, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances and this new program is an extension of this commitment,” said Michael Mills, associate provost for enrollment management. “Students from low- and moderate-income families face significant obstacles on the road to earning a college degree, and we hope that this new scholarship makes their journey a little easier.”

Northwestern hopes to provide the Good Neighbor, Great University scholarships to approximately 100 first-year students fall 2011 and perhaps increase it to as many as 200 in the future, Mills said. Approximately 2,000 first-year students enroll at Northwestern each year.

An important component of the Good Neighbor, Great University initiative will be increased support programs for students, noted Peterson. “We want to ensure that we give these students strong academic, social and personal support once they get to Northwestern,” she said. “We want all our students to be successful and feel included.”

More information about the program is available online.

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  1. NU Rated for General Education Requirements

    Northwestern U. rated for General Education Requirement—i.e. requiring work in several areas.    The original report I heard on this included comments on what could be considered a ‘substantial’ course such as a math course beyond high school algebra or calculus instead of a course ‘about’ math instead of math itself.

    Other schools can be compared.

    1. Yeah, I saw that

      … and I’m skeptical of that particular rating’s value. For those that didn’t click through the link, Northwestern gets an F because the graduation requirements don’t explicitly include composition, literature, US government or history, economics, mathematics, or science. It also includes notes for certain areas giving examples of courses that fulfill those areas but that somehow don’t count as really fulfilling them.

      And it’s true, a student in NU’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences could potentially go through four years without taking courses in the areas listed in that assessment. But realistically speaking, they don’t. Finding a way to schedule a full course load every quarter without ever satisfying those areas would be unbelievably difficult.

      Never mind that the fact that 90 percent of incoming NU freshmen have AP credits, which would undoubtedly satisfy some of those general education requirements at a lot of schools. Just because of the type of students attracted to and accepted at NU, the university really doesn’t need to specifically require basic proficiency in economics or US government. If students don’t have it already coming in, they’ll probably seek it out on their own.

      And as a math major myself, courses "’about’ math instead of math itself" are incredibly valuable in a genuinely well-rounded education. Colleges that require math to graduate often can be satisfied through courses that are solely calculation-based– here’s a problem, find the answer. That’s great, if you want to balance your checkbook. But it does nothing for a true liberal arts education.

      Satisfying the WCAS "formal studies" requirement through a course about logic or Slavic linguistics, as that rating bemoans, has more in common with the advanced math courses that I’ve taken than some other school’s pre-calculus course would. It’s about learning how to think, not learning certain specific operations. That’s where F-rated schools like Northwestern, Cornell, UC-Berkley, Williams College, and others excel.

      This ranking system is as flawed as any other that tries to translate very different academic experiences into a letter or a number.


      All of that, of course, doesn’t address the question– why are you bringing this up? The original article was about scholarships for Evanston and Chicago students. Even if Northwestern were just a mediocre-to-okay school and not a "great" or "elite" school, isn’t starting a scholarship program still a good thing?

    2. NU non-Academic Majors

        While Weinberg students "may" elect to take a balanced course load and "may" take a rigourous course in that requirement, remember a substantial number of students take music, journalism,  drama, communications majors which are not academic and probably belong in for profit vocational education schools—certainly nothing of rigor.

         A substantial amount of the university budget goes to these non-academic programs that could have been devoted to what a college education should be.  Few of these students will ever find jobs in their field—$40,000 a year is a very expensive way of preparing for waiting tables.  Yes NU music and journalism probably place more than most schools but still very few will ever be able to use it in life.  Yes, get some practice in drama, music or whatever but not as a college education.  P.S. as to journalism, look at the inane writing [not to mention in-accurate] of the Daily NU to demonstrate what will be their quality of writing—if they ever find a job.


      P.S.S. For an example of future business leaders, look at Kellogg "Merger"—that should scare employers away !

      1. A little off the mark

         Anyone who labels Medill journalism or Bienen music as "nothing of rigor" clearly hasn’t experienced it, or even observed it up close. I’d agree that those programs aren’t exactly a typical liberal arts education, but they’re certainly not in the same category as for-profit vocational education schools.

        Let’s say you’re a journalism major. How do you spend your time? Taking lots of writing and design classes and working in internships, all at the expense of a well-rounded education?

        From Medill’s website:

            I. 12-14 journalism units

            Most courses count for one unit, except all Journalism Residency courses (JOUR 345, 346, 355, 356, 365, and 366), which are one or two units each depending on the focus students choose (storytelling or presentation).

            II. 14 distribution requirements
            Distribution requirements are taken in history (three), literature (three), math/science (three),
            political science (two), economics (one), religion/philosophy (one) and art/art history (one).

            III. 8-10 elective units
            Electives are unrestricted choices from any school in the University other than Medill.

            IV. Nine concentration units
            Concentrations are divided into a three-unit social science concentration and a six-unit elective concentration in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

            V. 11 units in global and diverse cultures
            These units are among the 31-33 non-journalism courses required to fulfill the arts and sciences (23) and electives (8 or 10) requirements; they are not additional units required for graduation.

        Even if their writing is inane and inaccurate (though, frankly, you’re hardly one to judge), it seems to me that they’re still getting a pretty solid background in a wide variety of subject areas, while also getting a chance to specialize in an area that they’re passionate about.

        That seems to be pretty reflective of "what a college education should be"– personal enrichment and education, and gaining a new understanding of the world.

        So what if journalism grads can’t find jobs? Finding a job isn’t the point of college, the education is the point. Even if they never do professional journalism, I’m pretty confident that they’re still leaving with an education and the tools they’ll need to do something positive in life.

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