BMC Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid: Pa. Private Colleges Offer a Great Education and a Great Value

Posted February 2nd, 2009 at 12:20 pm.

rickard-3The below piece originally appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Enrollment officers committed to helping students
Sunday, January 25, 2009
By Scott Friedhoff, Jenny Rickard and Bob Massa

As chief enrollment officers of private colleges across the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we want to address misconceptions the public may have about access and affordability in higher education. And while we are speaking for our institutions, we are also confident that our words fairly represent private colleges and universities nationwide.

First, our commitment to access has never been greater. Our goal is to make it possible for all admissible students to attend our institutions regardless of their socioeconomic background. We have a long history of providing that access, and it is our pledge to continue that important tradition. Our institutions are better places because of the rich diversity of our students—geographic, racial, religious and socioeconomic diversity.

Second, our financial aid budgets have never been greater. While declining endowment values do indeed present challenges, we continue to rely on alumni and friends to make generous gifts that allow us to help students in need. And that assistance will continue. Rarely do students admitted to our institutions turn down that offer due to lack of finances. Our mantra for students and families is: please do not rule out any college because of cost before you investigate your eligibility for financial assistance.

We understand the nervousness that our current turbulent economy creates. Economic conditions demand that employees be creative, analytical and adaptive in their work. And those are among the most important qualities that students discover and develop while in college. It’s important to remember that a college education remains perhaps the best investment of a lifetime. That investment pays great dividends in lifetime earnings, in quality of life and as a benefit to society.

Americans are blessed with the availability of a rich variety of higher education institutions. And colleges and universities are likewise blessed with a vibrant array of students to admit and teach. We, in particular, are joyful for the opportunity to provide exceptional educational experiences for the citizens of the Commonwealth and students across the globe.

Scott Friedhoff, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications, Allegheny College

Jenny Rickard, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Bryn Mawr College

Bob Massa, Vice President for Enrollment and College Relations, Dickinson College

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