2008
Benedictine unveils program to assist students facing economic hardship

Benedictine unveils program to assist students facing economic hardship
December 2, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

Difficult economic times are creating financial challenges for students and their families. Benedictine University wants to ensure that its students do not find themselves unable to continue their education.

Beginning with the Spring 2009 semester, current students whose parents or guardian become unemployed or whose financial situation radically changes because of the current economic crisis will be able to take advantage of Benedictine University’s new “Displaced Earner Program.”  

The program will also allow University staff to work with families to develop a creative and affordable college financing plan, and provide free career development services to students’ parents who have lost their jobs. 

“No parent should have to tell their child that they cannot go to college because they can’t afford it,” said Benedictine University President William J. Carroll.

“Doing whatever we can to help our students is the right thing to do. It’s the Benedictine thing to do. We want to impact our students in a positive way and help their parents. “

These families sent us their children when their financial situation was good,” Carroll added. “We’re not going to abandon them now because times are difficult.”

“The Displaced Earner Program” is a three-pronged plan to help current traditional undergraduate students whose financial situation has changed, students who have graduated from Benedictine but have been unable to find employment, and adult undergraduate and graduate students who find it difficult to continue their degree program.

Traditional undergraduate students who are facing economic hardship will be able to meet with University personnel one-on-one to explore alternative financing options. If their situation was the result of a parent or guardian becoming unemployed, free career development services – such as resume writing, interviewing and job search workshops – will be made available.

These free career development services are also available to students who have recently graduated from Benedictine with an undergraduate degree but have been unable to find work, and alumni who have recently become displaced because of the economic downturn. University staff will also meet with these alumni to discuss a number of options such as continuing their education and deferring payment on student loans.

They will also be eligible to enroll in one graduate class for free with registration in a class for which they are able to pay. Adult undergraduate and graduate students who are currently unemployed or find themselves unemployed while enrolled at Benedictine University for the Winter and Spring 2009 terms will also be able to meet with financial aid counselors one-on-one to discuss financing options.

The program is part of Benedictine’s efforts to help families cope with the country’s financial crisis. Last month, Benedictine announced a tuition freeze through Spring 2010 for all students already attending Benedictine and through Spring 2011 for next year’s freshman class.

“We understand students and their families face enough challenges during these difficult economic times,” Carroll said. “If they should lose their jobs or if their financial situation de-stabilizes, we want to work with them to determine how to fund the student’s education.”

For enrollment or financial aid information, contact the Benedictine University Enrollment Center at (630) 829-6300.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.