Every year, tuition at Manhattan College increases as well as scholarship amounts for incoming freshman.
The Scholarship Committee in the Admissions Office determines the award amounts based on an applicant’s high school curriculum, grade point average, standardized test scores and the school they were accepted into.
The Presidential Scholarship is awarded each year to students in the top 15 percent of the Manhattan College applicant pool.
Patrick O’Connor, sophomore accounting major, was qualified to receive the award as an incoming freshman.
“I believe my Presidential Scholarship was $17,500 when I first came in,” O’Connor said.
For incoming freshman in the class of 2020, the Presidential Scholarship awards will range from $16,000 to $29,000.
Denise Scalzo, director of financial aid, said that not all qualifying students receive the same amount of scholarship money.
The difference between amounts ranges from school to school with the School of Education receiving the highest amount of money in scholarships.
Caitlin Read, executive director of admissions and enrollment operations, confirmed via email that in the past three years there have been modest increases in tuition for first-year students.
“Scholarship amounts are reassessed each year with relation to the cost of attendance and are often, but not always, increased,” Read said.
Some students consider transferring due to Manhattan College’s high cost of attendance.
“I wanted to leave because I didn’t think the school was worth the amount of money my parents were paying for,” O’Connor said.
A student who attends attending Manhattan College can request to be reconsidered for additional financial aid and scholarships in the Office of Financial Aid. Significant changes in a student’s financial situation or strong academic performance are factors that are considered when reassessing financial aid and scholarships.
Maria Nieto, sophomore engineering major, said that the reassessment process did not help her.
“During my freshman year, my family was going through a tough time so I decided to write an appeal to receive more money,” Nieto said.
She was on the Dean’s List, had a good academic standing and was involved in four school clubs with leadership positions in all of them.
One month later, Nieto received the notice that she was not going to get any more financial help. As she accepted the decision, she wondered how the decision process was held.
“I didn’t know then, I don’t know now,” Nieto said.
Manhattan College’s endowment is approximately $75,000,000. Alumni are often times able to give endowments to selected students, but not many students have knowledge of this.
“Students should be aware of this opportunity,” said O’ Connor.
Filipe Bernandino, freshman engineering major, agreed with O’Connor.
“You get emails to scholarships, they [admissions office] do a good job [informing students], I am just too lazy to fill them up,” said Bernandino.
The office of financial aid has the list of the alumni that serve as donors.
“We check their criteria and pair them up with a student,” said Scalzo. “Those are the types of scholarships for continuing students.”
Scalzo said that Manhattan College wants to financially help both freshman and continuing students.
“It is necessary and essential for retention and graduation purposes,” said Scalzo.
Nieto, however, had no clue of said donors.
“At that time, I was considering transferring. Unfortunately, because of the money,” Nieto said.
Read was contacted for further comment on this case but did not respond. Bernandino said he had a different experience.
“Before attending Manhattan College, people I knew told me they [admissions office] don’t usually give a lot of scholarships,” said Bernandino. “After being accepted into the School of Engineering, I received a good amount of money so I was satisfied.”
While students have different outcomes in their financial aid process, some negative and some positive, students feel a strong connection with Manhattan College.
“I decided to come back to Manhattan College, even though I did not get money [that I appealed for] because I love the school and my family is making a great effort as they think it is worth it,” Nieto said.