A Tale of Two Students: Bobby Mo and Owen Moore
A Tale of Two Students: Bobby Mo and Owen MooreWendy Beckemeyer, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University of Pittsburgh, PA, has created an accessible and interesting avenue for students to learn about their options when it comes to financial aid and college affordability: the RMU College Affordability Academy™. These resources, and more to come from RMU, are a good example of the growing number of supportive voices students can turn to as they navigate their path through college.
Will Owen take advantage of the resources on campus to ensure his loans are manageable after college? Or, will he risk his academic scholarships to go swimming with a duck? Find out below!
The creation of the RMU College Affordability Academy™, a training opportunity for staff and faculty across the university on topics such as how families are challenged to finance higher education, how RMU’s investment in students is evaluated by third parties and perceived by the public, and how the benefits of an early connection with the career center can lead to lifetime employability, was developed when the university was implementing its most recent five-year strategic plan.
After sharing this idea with industry leaders and receiving their feedback, eight modules were created and 50 staff and faculty from admissions, financial aid, student financial services, women’s leadership, online student services, career center, academic services, and many other colleagues met for 90 minutes every two weeks to discuss financial literacy and career planning in a higher education context. We discussed current articles, had lively discussions and shared concern about how families are not armed with sufficient information to make informed decisions about net price, debt, and expected income after graduation.
Our goal was to inform members of the RMU community who interact regularly with current and potential students and families. We want to be a force for good decision-making as this topic is a daily headline. To solidify what our colleagues were learning, we incorporated a capstone project. Teams were cross-functional and developed a “deliverable” that would translate what was learned in the Academy ™ to current and potential students and parents. The video is one of the capstone projects.
We are working with several state-wide organizations and foundations to broaden our reach with this innovative initiative. And more videos will be coming in the next few months.