Saturday, April 11, 2009

Marquette Magazine: Spring 2009

Karina Moreno
College: Business Administration
Major: Finance (member of the Applied Investment Management Program), Senior
Urban Scholarship Recipient

Karina Moreno knows exactly where she wants to go.

She graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago, a college preparatory school serving children on the low-income west side. Cristo Rey students attend school four days a week and work one day a week to pay their tuition, giving them exposure to the working world and a personal investment in their education. Moreno thrived in the program, became valedictorian of her class and took a step no one in her family had taken before — she went to college.

Financial aid was crucial for Moreno, whose single mother couldn’t pay for college. She was awarded a scholarship through Marquette’s Urban Scholars Program. “The financial aid was a major player in selecting the school I would attend,” Moreno says. “Without those who have believed in me enough to fund my education, I would not have been able to get this far.”

Moreno has seized every opportunity. The senior finance major works 20 hours a week at Robert W. Baird & Co. in the risk management department, mentored by Mary Ellen Stanek, Arts ’78, the managing director and director of asset management for Baird and chair of Marquette’s Board of Trustees.

On campus, Moreno is just as much of a hands-on learner. She’s part of Marquette’s Applied Investment Management program, a team of finance students that invests a portion of the university’s endowment. She volunteers at the Latino Community Center and helps international students adjust to American life as an ambassador in Marquette’s Global Village residential community.

“One of the pillars of the Jesuit foundation,” she says, “is giving back to others.”

Urban Scholars Program The now 10 full-tuition Urban Scholarships are funded in part through the generosity of several benefactors and designated for graduates of Chicago's Cristo Rey High School, members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukke and graduates of Milwaukee-area high schools.


How does scholarship aid fit into a financial aid package?
Students who receive assistance in affording tuition benefit from a mix of scholarship aid, grants, loans and student employment. The package helps bridge the gap between what students and their families can afford to pay and the cost of attending a university.

Q How many Marquette undergraduates receive aid?

Eighty-five percent of our full-time undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance. Even with the aid we provide, many students have unmet financial need. The average unmet financial need for a freshman this year is $6,089, which families meet through private loans, second jobs and other means. Long term, this amount of unmet need can affect a student’s ability to attend Marquette.

Q Is student debt affecting the choices students have post graduation?

Yes. Many students take on loans as part of a complete financial aid package. The average debt for undergraduate students who graduated in 2007-08 was about $30,000. Loan repayments can mean that these graduates must delay graduate school or set aside public service and nonprofit careers as viable options.

Q How much total does Marquette award in financial assistance each year?

In 2007-08, scholarship aid and grants for all students — including federal and state support and scholarship aid from private external sources as well as Marquette — exceeded $94 million.

Q Is Marquette changing scholarship aid in light of the tough economic situation?

President Robert Wild, S.J., says that fulfilling the promise to retain current students through graduation is the university’s first and foremost priority. University leadership is committed to working with students and families facing financial difficulties on solutions that make continued enrollment possible. In response to the increased stress felt by our families, the university raised the amount it commits to the financial aid budget by $4 million. Additionally, the university is working to secure more scholarship aid support for students who are struggling financially to remain at Marquette. Initial responses to this effort included a generous $250,000 gift from a family foundation to help 55 students continue their education this spring semester.

Financial need of Marquette undergraduate students
$38,776: Average Marquette undergraduate tuition, room and board and fees for 2009-10

25%: A quarter of Marquette students are the first in their families to go to college. On average families of these students can afford less than one-third of what it costs to attend Marquette. Scholarship aid helps ensure that these talented students continue to have access to Marquette.

$30,563: Average debt load of a graduating senior

Even after personal and family contributions, scholarships and grants, the unmet financial need is considerable. Marquette simply does not have enough funds to meet what students are fully qualified to receive in aid. Costs not covered by family contribution, federal grants and private scholarships must be made up through loans.