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Aid, scholarship delays fluster YSU students



Published: Sat, August 20, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

Youngstown

Youngstown State University’s announcement that it is delaying financial aid and scholarship funds has some students struggling to pay bills.

“The tuition disbursement freeze is unacceptable,” student Frederick Moose wrote in an email to YSU trustees and administrators. “Some of us rely on that money to not only pay to tuition, but to also supplement a part-time job or to pay bills and rent while we’re in school. Without that financial aid, I’m going to have problems paying rent come September.”

Moose copied the email to The Vindicator.

“The students of this university have a right, as payers of tuition, to know what’s going on,” Moose said in the email. “I can’t speak for all of campus, but the faculty members in the Dana School of Music work very hard to make sure that we all get a valuable education, and any of us in the music program will vouch for it. ...”

The university sent an email to students announcing the delay and attributing it to the uncertainty surrounding contract talks with the faculty union.

“We have received many calls and emails from students who are concerned about the delay in financial aid disbursements,” said Ron Cole, YSU spokesman. “That’s very understandable. There’s a lot of concern, worry and angst, and all of that is very understandable.”

He said the university is doing “everything we can to resolve the contract so we can move forward” and get approval from the department of education to disburse financial aid and scholarship funds.

Last week, YSU trustees rejected a fact finder’s report that would have given union members raises of 0 percent, 1 percent and 2 percent and raised the amount they pay for health insurance.

The union, which had approved the fact finder’s report, issued a notice authorizing a strike if an agreement isn’t reached by Aug. 26.

Fall classes are to begin Aug. 29.

In a news release, Julia Gergits, president of the union representing YSU faculty, pointed out that in 2005 when the union went on strike, the university didn’t take action to delay financial aid and scholarship funds to students.

Financial aid and scholarship funds were to be disbursed beginning Friday.

The university said payment due dates also will be adjusted.

“The U.S. Department of Education has advised YSU not to disburse financial aid funds until we know for certain when fall semester classes will start,” said the email sent by Gene Grilli, vice president for finance and administration, and Jack Fahey, vice president for student affairs.


Comments

1guingirl70(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Here is something that also needs to be taken in to account..."the fact finder notes that under the parties’ current collective bargaining agreement, bargaining unit members received annual salary increases of 6.1% in 2009, 3.5% in 2010, and 3.8% in 2011. There is no evidence in the record of a reduction in staff, hours, or pay suffered by bargaining unit members during the term of the current Agreement, from August 18, 2008 through August 17, 2011. The pay raises received during these years stand in contrast to the experience of many workers in the public sector who during this period were laid off or agreed to give back work through furlough days and/or agreed to shoulder increased expenses to reduce employer costs".
"The fact finder notes that a professor’s minimum salary in the 2008-2009 nine-month school year was $71,330; for the 2009-2010 nine-month school year the minimum moved to $73,470; and for the 2010-2011 NINE-MONTH school year the minimum moved to $75,674".
These salaries are coming from a community where the median income is $26,000 (for 12 months not NINE) and a high unemployment rate. It is unfair to keep putting the burden on the students/parents. Over the last 3 years faculty received over 13% in raises in the middle of a RECESSION when the rest of use were taking cuts and making sacrifices!

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2fess2it(30 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

As a grad student, I do understand the reasoning behind this. The DOE is concerned students will receive the money, YSU will strike, then some students will have no money for books and other needed items when the strike is over. I need my financial aid check also, but I would rather wait until YSU clears up their mess. If I have to show up to class with no books that is not my fault, I can blame that on the DOE.

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3valleyred(1097 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

GuinGirl listed fact after fact and I agree with her analysis 100%.

Join with other YSU students and show your dismay with the OEA: http://www.facebook.com/pages/YSU-Stu...

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4Observer123(20 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

guingirl70 -

"The fact finder notes that a professor’s minimum salary in the 2008-2009 nine-month school year was $71,330; for the 2009-2010 nine-month school year the minimum moved to $73,470; and for the 2010-2011 NINE-MONTH school year the minimum moved to $75,674".
These salaries are coming from a community where the median income is $26,000 (for 12 months not NINE) and a high unemployment rate. It is unfair to keep putting the burden on the students/parents."

The $73,470 minimum salary that you mention is for a FULL Professor, i.e. someone that has risen through the ranks through at least two promotions.

Assistant Professors are paid around $50K when they start at a place like YSU, which isn't great since many will arrive with more schooling than most physicians and pretty much all lawyers. For example in the sciences, all new hires have a Ph.D. (at least 5 years of school) and post-doctoral training (2-4 years more) before they finally get their first appointment at the Assistant Professor level.

If the faculty member then does well (good teaching, solid research record with publication) they may apply for promotion to Associate Professor which brings with it a modest raise. To get to Full Professor these days you have to stand out and have a very strong record. Then, by the time you're 45-50 you might get that $73,470 minimum that you quote.

Something that needs to be kept in mind here is that even in these bad economic times the unemployment rate amongst those with professional degrees (including Ph.D.) is actually quite low. There are plenty of academic jobs out there and YSU runs the risk of losing some very good people here and also not being able to attract new blood because of comparatively low salaries.

Hope school starts on time for you all though!

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5Jay48(2 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Federal regulations state that a school may not disburse federal financial aid funds "until the 10th day before the first day of classes". If YSU does not know when the first day of classes is going to be because of a pending strike notice from the faculty how do you expect them to disburse the funds. YSU also has 14 days to refund any credit balance that is created by the disbursement of federal financial aid funds. The 14 day rule is from the date of disbursement of funds or the first day of class whichever is later. Students should learn the rules before they cry foul about YSU. YSU is just following federal regulations.

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6guingirl70(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

The current salaries of YSU faculty:
Professor – $ 75,674
Associate Professor – $ 64,215
Assistant Professor – $ 51,238
Instructor – $ 38,689
Remember this is for NINE months. Our area is severely depressed and the college community can not afford to be the only ones making sacrifices. A 7% raise in tuition in two years plus as raise in other fees is ridiculous. Why should the student/parents foot the whole burden? It is time for administration and faculty to bear some of the load in these tough times.
To compare YSU's faculty pay rate to other colleges is like comparing apples to oranges. Again this area has a median annual salary of $26k (for 12 months not 9) and a unemployment rate well over 10%.
One can live very well off a starting salary of $51K in Youngstown. Not to mention that number does not include any monies that are made by teaching over the summer semester. The pay rate for summer is "is MUCH higher than other colleges and universities in the area".
I have no problem paying someone their worth, however in this community and economy I feel that everyone should sacrifice, just not the student. Especially those that are coming off a 13 plus % pay raise over the last 3 years in that took place in middle of a recession.

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7Observer123(20 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

My understanding is that the faculty union has already agreed to bear some of the load by paying more towards their healthcare. This could result in a 10-15% pay cut for junior faculty. Trying to compete in a national market for talented new junior faculty is going to be hampered by this.

I do have sympathy for YSU students that are struggling to make ends meet but that school is still one of the most affordable in Ohio, even with the recent tuition raises There is a delicate balance, however, between not pricing students out of the game while also being able to attract good quality faculty from within the national pool of candidates. It does look like the faculty have already agreed to cuts but the administration seems intent on extracting more without necessarily bearing any of the burden themselves.

This is an interesting article that kind of dilutes the "cost of living" argument a little:

http://ctmirror.com/story/7486/csu-pr...

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8TB(1167 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

The faculty is willing to give. Don't blame them.

"These salaries are coming from a community where the median income is $26,000 (for 12 months not NINE) and a high unemployment rate. It is unfair to keep putting the burden on the students/parents. Over the last 3 years faculty received over 13% in raises in the middle of a RECESSION when the rest of use were taking cuts and making sacrifices!"

I saw this in the first post and what this ignores is the amount of time and money spent by anyone entering teaching, let alone achieving doctoral status. It's a HUGE endeavour, and, quite frankly, people who achieve this status should be paid WELL ABOVE the local median for the community. There is something to be said for expertise and for attracting candidates in a pretty competitive market.

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9angrystudent(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

The whole thing about YSU holding are money is the most ridiculous, retarded thing in the world. Do they ASSUME that EVERYONE is a freshman? Do they not realize that some of us actually have a life outside of SCHOOL? I am entitled to my loans. I have to pay TWO other schools which WILL be starting on time. I have to get books for the TWO other schools that WILL be starting on time. I have to pay rent on September 1st which DOES NOT give a rat's ass about YSU's issues with a contract. I also work, go to school full-time and take care of my son. This is outright THEFT by YSU as far as I am concerned and I am seriously considering a different school at this point. If this ruins my credit, I am looking for a lawyer. I just hope I am not out on the street first. Unbelievable.

This BETTER get resolved and FAST. People's lives DEPEND on that money. They can't keep it hostage until they figure out stupid issues with a petty contract. Get another job like the rest of us if it's so bad.

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10angrystudent(3 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, that should have read *OUR* money. I'm so angry I can't even use correct grammar. UGH.

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11TB(1167 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

"This BETTER get resolved and FAST. People's lives DEPEND on that money. They can't keep it hostage until they figure out stupid issues with a petty contract. Get another job like the rest of us if it's so bad."

Your failure to recognize that the same could be said about you is almost laughable.

You could go to another school, or wait until you could afford college, or drop out and get a job.

If you want to talk about hard knocks and dish out judgment, then be prepared to have the same logic dispensed to you.

You aren't entitled to anything. You make or break yourself. Your loan, compared to the running of an entire university and the lives of the entire faculty, is the bit that is petty.

How did that feel? Obviously I was making statement that were inflammatory. Maybe you should reconsider before making your own.

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