Dear President’s Commissioners,
How do families afford to send their children to college? You have read about this in any number of newspaper and magazine articles and have heard your family and friends ask this question out loud. As President, I grapple with this question every day, and I am proud of Wheaton’s progress in addressing this issue. We continue to evaluate approaches to manage and finance the cost of higher education. Wheaton must be able to recruit qualified students with a variety of backgrounds, interests and experiences in a highly competitive market. Our ability to offer these talented students financial aid is critical to the college’s ability to recruit and retain them.
The next President’s Commission meeting will explore the importance of scholarship aid in attracting and retaining promising students. We will also discuss the context in which Wheaton and the larger world think about financial aid. I hope you will join me on Friday, April 26, to explore “Opening Doors and Changing Lives: The Impact of Scholarship Aid on Wheaton College and Its Students.”
In addition to my update on the college and the efforts we are making to control costs and increase revenue, you will hear from Gail Berson, Vice President and Dean of Admission and Student Aid, as well as consultant, Brian Zucker, President of Human Capital Research Corporation, who will provide an overview from a national perspective. Our superb colleagues from the Student Financial Services Office will then lead you through a decision-making exercise that highlights the challenges of distributing financial aid.
Of course, one of the pleasures of visiting Wheaton is speaking with students. Since two-thirds of Wheaton students receive financial aid, and all of our students benefit from a well-balanced class, you will directly observe how financial aid transforms lives both while at Wheaton, and afterwards.
If you can, please join us Thursday evening for dinner and conversation with current students in Emerson Dining Hall. This event was so successful last year that we decided to repeat it. Dinner service ends at 7:00 p.m., but we will be in the dining hall from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The Academic Festival on Friday, after lunch, will permit you to learn directly from students about their successes at Wheaton. Also, I hope you can arrange your schedule so you remain for the Senior Art Exhibit and closing cocktail party. This is a unique opportunity to speak informally with students, see the work they have created as their capstone experiences, and even purchase their art for your personal art collection. You will not want to miss this!
Our day will begin with check-in at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, April 26. Registration and our first sessions will be held in the Faculty Dining Room in Emerson Hall. (Please use the entrance near Howard Street.) Throughout the day, we will consider the following questions:
- We tried to give you the greater context in which financial aid is awarded. Which pieces particularly resonated with you? What are your reactions and thoughts?
- We are not the only institution that you are affiliated with that is concerned about scholarship aid. Please share some examples of where you think another institution has done a stellar job of explaining to you why financial aid is critical and how it impacts the institution. Please feel free to bring these examples with you, or email them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- How did your conversations with students today impact your thinking about financial aid?
Please register by Thursday, April 18 and, for all meals, note any dietary restrictions, as well as any mobility restrictions in the box provided at the bottom of the registration form.
If you need hotel accommodations, a special rate has been secured at the following hotel:
Courtyard by Marriott Boston Foxboro
35 Foxborough Boulevard
Foxboro, MA 02035
$120.00 plus taxes
Rooms are blocked under the name, Wheaton College, President’s Commission. To guarantee this special rate, you must contact the hotel directly and make your reservations by Thursday, April 4, 2013. Hotel directions are available here. Directions to Wheaton College and information about how to get around the Norton area are available here.
Again, thank you so much for your efforts on behalf of Wheaton and its students. I look forward to seeing you on April 25 and 26!
Questions about your meeting reservations should be directed to Pam Vaz at 508-286-3471 or email@example.com. Please contact Susan Kobayashi, Program Manager, President’s Commission, and Associate Director of Major Gifts, at 508-286-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the meeting program.