by Juules Banks / Editor-in-Chief
This article is from the Torch’s satire issue, the Scorch.
The Roosevelt Financial Aid Office has recently announced new changes to tuition – much to the dismay of students. After confusion began to surface over the new charges added to students’ accounts on RUAccess, the topic became widely-discussed amongst the student body. As a result, the Financial Aid Office had to release a statement via email explaining the charges in an attempt to placate the students.
“It’s simple, really,” said Ebeneez R. Scrooge, head of the Financial Aid Office. “At first, the office didn’t even consider it necessary to release a response. What’s the confusion? We added simple charges to the amenities that students have been getting away with for free for far too long.”
The amenities in question:
•Stepping foot into the Wabash Building ($4 per step)
•Breathing in the Wabash Building ($350 per semester, $700 annually)
•Sending emails with a Roosevelt email account ($45 per email)
•School-wide lab fee removal fee ($70 per student)
•“Hey, You’ve Made it This Far” fee for senior students ($1500 due their graduating semester
•“Hey, You Just Got Here” fee for freshmen students ($1499 due their first semester)
Although the informational email sent by the Financial Aid Office cited “very good reasons” for the new charges added, no reasons were actually listed. Instead, photos of Fala the Scottish Terrier doing a thumbs-up with University President Ali Malekzadeh, along with inspirational quotes from Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made up the body of the email. A link to the university’s mental health services was added at the bottom.
A reported “mixed reaction” occurred within the student body, according to an Instagram poll set by the Torch’s team yesterday while conducting hard research on the topic.
“I mean, I haven’t been at college for super long, so I wasn’t sure if this was normal or not for a school to do to its students,” said Haley Madej, freshman biology student. “I’d like to think this is abnormal.”
“This is extremely normal for a school to do to its students,” said Doc Young, senior integrated marketing communications major. “Why did you guys expect this place to be different? This is a business.”
Scrooge did acknowledge the financial stressors COVID-19 has put many students under, saying that they could “work for the school” if they were feeling helpless or nervous.
“We have a lot of job opportunities for our students,” he said. “If they take initiative, they can certainly find the means to keep them afloat.”
Confusion and outrage was especially targeted at the lab fee removal fee, which, as Scrooge explained, meant that Roosevelt is now charging for the removal of the initial fee labeled “lab fees.”
“It’s an extremely delicate process, removing fees,” he said. “To remove a fee, we have to add another fee. It isn’t even worth going into really, since I don’t expect any student to understand, but trust me, it’s necessary.”
The lab fee removal fee sits at $70, $10 more than the initial lab fee per lab-oriented class.
“When I was complaining about removing lab fees, this is not what I meant,” said Madej.
Madej, who works at the American Eagle in the Water Tower Mall downtown, said that her current hours at work will not be enough to cover the new costs. She said that this is especially due to the fact that Madej is a Wabash resident and must take many steps inside the building a day, which has racked up a large bill.
“My trick has been to take really big steps,” she said. “I’m talking huge. I’m not the only one, either. Everyone is basically lunging to class now.”
This new financial aid controversy comes only months after another dispute, which occured when the Financial Aid Office partially or entirely removed students’ grants when given new scholarships.
“What did they expect us to do about that? That’s federal policy,” Scrooge said. “Which policy? I don’t know. What are you, a cop?”
For now, the fees will stay implemented. As of today, 756 complaints have been emailed to the Financial Aid Office, but most remain unopened due to the office’s policy of only reading one email a week.
Categories: The Scorch