University receives recognition for low-income student opportunities

The University has received national recognition for the opportunities it provides for low-income students without causing excessive debt.

In the state of Ohio, the University was the highest-ranking university on the CollegeNET-PayScale Social Mobility Index. To qualify for such recognition, the University had to meet four criteria: a graduation rate, cost of tuition, endowment and percentage of students coming from low-income households and the salaries of those who start working after graduation. The University ranked 53rd out of 539 schools.

“BG has, for some time, tried to be mindful of affordability,” Dean of Students Jodi Webb said.

The University recognizes that it is a large commitment to receive higher education and try to make it as affordable as possible for those who come to the University. Administration and financial aid services look for students with strong merit and potential to succeed at the University, rather than primarily their financial situations.

The University draws on a wide variety of students, a lot of which are first generation college students.

“Our student body tends to have a higher volume of firs generation students,” Vice Provost for Academic Operations and Assessment Joe Frizado said.

There’s more of a focus on what that student can bring to the University and how the University can help them grow because of their experiences here. Administration focuses on looking at the whole package a student has to offer to determine if the student has the potential to succeed at the University.

“It’s been about how we keep costs manageable and aid scholarships here,” Webb said.

It’s not only important to appeal to students with low-income, but to retain the students that come here. The importance of figuring out how to keep students here and helping them make college affordable is something that is stressed throughout administration at the University.

“To some degree, we have to make sure we are accessible to help those who have success at the University,” Webb said.

The University hones in on making a student successful both in and out of the classroom, and making the experience affordable is one way to achieve that. The commitment to student success and growth, as well as financial aid opportunities, are reasons why the University has ranked consistently as one of the best universities for low-income students.

It’s important for students to get involved, and that during their first semester here they join an organization. Organizational involvement plays a large role in developing skills out of the classroom that can be applied in a real-life setting. The University orients student all the same by getting them connected and providing services such as the Learning Commons and Career Services. By providing these services and getting the students engaged, this helps students gain valuable skill-sets and contributes to their success after graduation.

Right now the university is in the middle of the decision letters. Potential students will be receiving financial aid letters and determining if they want their collegiate experience to be at the University. Thirty-one percent of the student body is considered to come from a low-income background.

“Students make the decision to either go to the University or will figure out what their other options are,” Frizado said.