Task force suggests increase in aid

The university is considering increasing financial aid for Ferris students by millions of dollars.

The Presidential Enrollment Task Force (ETF) recommended increasing Ferris institutional aid assistance by $3 million beginning in the fall of 2014, according to the ETF report released on Nov. 8.

“It is only a recommendation and if this will be done and/or how it would be implemented will be discussed by administration,” said Co-Chair of ETF and interim Vice President of Student Affairs Don Flickinger.

The increased financial aid will be phased in over a period of four years if the recommendation is implemented.

Out of the 15 Michigan public universities, Ferris ranks number 11 in terms of financial aid given to students.

“Ferris paid a minimum of $2,680 less than our Michigan public university competitors in need-based aid to Michigan residents, freshmen with the highest need,” the report read. “The largest difference was $13,229 less than our competitor.”

The ETF proposed moving up in the ranking as an immediate consideration.

“In comparing MI Public Institutions we want to develop a strategic plan to increase the percentage of the University general funds that are allocated to student financial aid,” said Director of Financial Aid Sara Dew.

During the month of October, the ETF met to provide recommendations that will “hopefully” impact fall 2014 enrollment, according to the report. The President’s council reviewed the recommendations on Nov. 6.

The ETF also recommended accelerated and alternative means to degree completion to increase enrollment.

“Review of data on time to degree and student debt indicates the University has the ability to assist students with ways to decrease time to degree and reduce student debt and additional communication and marketing opportunities exist,” the report read.

Improvement on the university’s image is an ETF recommendation. They plan to further promote Ferris’ image through logos, pennants, school colors and more, according to the report. Enhancing the University image for current students is an item for immediate consideration.

“I thought the task force did an extraordinary job, especially given the group was expected to produce the report in one month,” Flickinger said. “This dedication to the project really shows their caring and passion for the students at Ferris. I know leadership will take the report seriously and make every effort to implement as many recommendations as possible.”