OCS Changes Manageable
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 00:11
I can understand why some people are against the new Off-Campus Study (OCS) policy. I can only speak for myself, but I’m all for it.
Kenyon gives me a generous financial aid package that allows me to come to school for free and covers some of my books. I’ve been really lucky. I would not be able to go to college if I didn’t get financial aid. When I was applying to college, my parents and the other adults in my life didn’t advocate loans. I couldn’t get a loan myself because I was 17 years old with no credit, nor did I want to get a loan. It was very obvious I would either get a “full ride” or work at the Marcus Gurnee Cinema and try to enroll at the College of Lake County.
When applying to college, financial aid representatives tell people in my situation (whose parents discourage them from loans) that loans are a good option — they’re an investment, that one day after college you’ll be able to afford to pay those loans off. Yes, Kenyon is an expensive investment, but whether we are full-pay students, on a scholarship or using loans, we chose this place, and we chose it knowing its cost. Some people didn’t even consider going abroad; they knew the cost and they still decided to come here. Being here means we were willing to pay roughly $27,380 a semester. With the old OCS policy you’d be paying $27,380 for seven semesters as opposed to eight, which is a little like the difference between ta-MAY-to and ta-MAH-to.
If you have a loan to go to Kenyon, you would still probably have to take out a loan for your OCS program — but it’s an investment. The new policy doesn’t change the quality of the programs, and it doesn’t change the fact that you are investing in your education.
I’m a drama major, and I want to enroll in the National Theater Institute program next fall. The program is around $21,800, but that doesn’t include books or processing fees. If you compare those costs to a semester at Kenyon, it’s not that big of a difference.
I know every few thousand dollars counts. I feel the financial strain, and I understand how frustrating it is to be under one impression and then to be told something different. It sucks to be jerked around, but college anywhere is expensive.
Kenyon is expensive, yes, but it’s expensive for a reason. We have amazing professors, facilities and food. Where does that money that pays for these resources come from — donations and our endowment, sure, but mainly from tuition. Kenyon loses money when it sends people abroad.
I’m not sure of why the policy changed, but I believe that the money is not being mismanaged and that the policy will help the College. I get people being angry, but again, compare $27,000 to $21,000. It’s not that big of a difference. It’s not like you’re paying more; you’re paying what you would if you didn’t go abroad. Either way, you get a great education and amazing experiences. I think that is worth every penny.
Asha McAllister ’15 is a drama major and scholarship student. Her email is email@example.com.