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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Slow economy diminishes aid available for music lessons

<r has already proven difficult for many Carleton students: adding/dropping classes, waking up for 1a, and homework. But one thing that is often overlooked are the effects of the economic recession.

Over half of the Carleton student body receives need-based aid, and the College meets 100% of that need. However, Carleton has had to make some changes for this current fiscal year (2009-2010), such as how aid is given to students who take music lessons.

In past years, all students who met the aid requirements were eligible for assistance with music lessons. Requirements included that students “must be receiving need-based financial aid AND have accepted all parts of the award (including loans and work).”

A student who met these requirements and returned the request form to Student Financial Services (SFS) before the Drop/Add deadline, was given a Carleton grant for music lessons. Last year, Two credit lessons cost $240, four credit lessons cost $475 and a one credit class cost $60.

Carleton still offers aid, but the process has been changed. Two credit lessons cost $245, four credit lessons cost $490, and a 1 credit class costs $65. Although students still have to meet the same requirements, there are also due dates for submitting an assistance request. This past deadline was Sept. 18, the winter term deadline is Jan. 8, 2010, and the spring term deadline is April 2, 2010.

What is significantly different this year is the addition of loans. This decision was made by the Student Financial Services Office, with the cooperation of the Music Department. If a student has over $4,000 in loans and meets all the criteria for assistance with music lessons, the student is eligible for a Carleton grant.

However, if a student has under $4,000 in loans, he or she is only eligible for an additional loan. That student does have the option to turn down the loan.

All of these changes have been made because the current aid budget is depleted. This was likely caused by the fact that more students are requesting and qualifying for aid, due to the effects of the economy on families. However, the school is making it known that there is always a form of aid for students to fulfill their music goals.

The results of this new change are not necessarily visible, though. Professor of Music Lawrence Archbold said that the number of students taking lessons has only dropped by about a dozen from last fall. This is not very significant and the reasons range from financial issues to just being too busy. However, the current information that the music department has is only “preliminary.” More data will be collected as the term goes on.

The economy outside the Carleton bubble has had some impact on the inside, but Carleton is doing its best to ensure that students receive the help they need. Whether that be funding all the activities that take place on campus or providing grants and loans for students who want to add to their list of activities by starting a new instrument or continuing with an old one. Either way, Carleton wants students to succeed and the College offers many options to help students along the way.

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