Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

alumni interactions

eheller's picture

I am a student representive for a committee of Haverford alumni. Yesterday, I sat in on their meeting and talked to them a little bit about current issues on campus. I brought up how many students were upset about the modification of the no-loan policy and how a lot of students would not have come here without it. The alumni were shocked and somewhat offended. "But everywhere has loans!" "They are not that big!" "Why would you not choose Haverford because of money, Haverford is so special!" Most of the alumni were white and almost all of them currently have high-paying jobs. When they were at Haverford, it was a much less diverse place. Also, college in general cost less then. Currently, Haverford costs $10,000 more per year than the U.S. average yearly income. 

These alumni do not fully understand that for some people, $12,000 in loans after college is a deal breaker. For some people, recieving a few thousand dollars more from one school than another is a deciding factor. Haverford is indeed "special", but not everyone gets to pick the most "special" college, they have to pick the most affordable. 

They also began to complain about how students who recieve grants from Haverford don't give enough to the school after they graduate. Since when did financial aid come with strings attached? Yes, it would be nice if everyone gave back to Haverford, but why should students who needed to be on financial aid be expected to give more than other students?

I felt uncomfortable in this meeting, and was surprised at how a group of people who were supposed to represent the values of Haverford were being so thoughtless and judgemental.