Should St. Marys Have Merit Aid?

I continue to talk to people who can no longer afford a St. Mary’s education. At the same time, there are people at this school that can conceivably afford the full cost, but don’t have to thanks to merit-based aid.

Many people who do receive merit-based aid cannot afford the full price, or would have great difficulty in doing so, but there are a great many who can.

Should they still have this aid, or should it all go to people who need it?

This is a conversation that is going on at various levels in the administration.

There are great arguments on both sides of the line, and any decisions are far off. So let’s look at both sides of the issue.

We should have merit aid. There are numerous gifted individuals who we should work to bring to the school through financial assistance.

We are the honors college of Maryland, and thus need to maintain academic standards.

If we can’t continue to attract the best and the brightest students from across the state and country, we’ll become just like any other public institution.

Our honors college designation would be a waste, and we would drop through the rankings like a rock in water.

We should only have need-based aid. We are a public institution dedicated to access and affordability.

If we cannot continue to recruit individuals from poor economic backgrounds, we’ll become an elitist school unfit to represent the state of Maryland.

Every individual deserves the opportunity to study at St. Mary’s, and we should put all our efforts and funds into ensuring that.

So my question to you is thus: should we eliminate merit-based aid or not?

What is more important to us as an institution: maintaining our honors college quality or providing the opportunity to more people who cannot afford this education otherwise?

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