The Tutoring Center will no longer waive the tutoring costs for students who receive less than $2500 in financial aid -- forcing about 35 students to pay for themselves. The Tutoring Center had maintained a policy that a student who received little or no financial aid could apply in writing to have the costs waived if they were short of money. The tutoring charges were then paid by the Center. But according to Tutoring Center Director Bernadine Abad, the center was "running out of funds" and needed to find a way to reduce costs. Abad said the 35 to 40 students were not actually eligible for free tutoring but that the center tried to accomodate students who said they had "a particular need at the moment." "They are basically students who are not receiving financial aid," Abad said last night. "And if they receive less than $2500 in aid they are not considered eligible for tutoring." Undergraduate tutors charge $9 to $12 per hour, depending on the level of the course, while graduate tutors charge $12 to $15. But students said last night they are disappointed with the decision and had hoped the University would have found a method to pay for the tutoring. "You are talking about a few thousand dollars to fund this thing," Russell Lamb, a third-year economics graduate student said last night. "We're not talking about a million dollars or anything." Lamb, who is an economics tutor, said he is upset that a memo detailing the decision was dated April 15 and that the change was to take effect the next day. He added that it is inappropriate for the University to cut tutoring just before final exams. "If there is ever a time they need to get tutoring, it is before final exams," Lamb said. "But the problem with this is two-fold, they also gave students 24-hour notice." But Abad said the Center would offset the end of free tutoring by ensuring that all of the students who received fee waivers would be notified about the free review sessions the Center offers in some of the courses. She added that the lack of funding stems from the Center not receiving sufficient funding last year. "The problem here is that monies allocated last year were considerably less than [years prior]," Abad said. "Our decision early on was that we would not turn anyone away." She said the program ran until it was out of money, when it was then forced to terminate the fee waivers. She said the Center accepted almost everyone since they did not want to be in a position where they rejected students' requests and then had money to spare at the end of the year. She said the decision to change the policy was made on short notice because the Center discovered "late" that there was not sufficient money for the tutor payroll. She said next year's policy has not yet been decided. "It was in no way meant to be forever," Abad added. "There is only a limited pot of money and when it is gone, it is gone."Comments powered by Disqus
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