The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


OPINION | Bridging the gap between rising costs and scholarships for returning students

Gage Bertovich
Students and their families gather at scholarship interview day.

Oftentimes, as students progress through their time at a university, they see classes that have more demanding specialized coursework, internships, research projects or even labs which bring extra fees. The increase of cost without additional financial help could possibly add extra stress or anxiety that may hinder their ability to excel academically and fully engage in their college experience. It’s time for Chatham University to recognize the unique needs of returning students and offer tailored financial aid to support their continued success.

When it comes to other universities that I was considering before coming to Chatham, seven of them offered extra financial aid for different accolades. If other universities can offer merit awards, why can’t we?

Many first-year students go through Chatham’s Academic Scholarship Interview Day in hopes of getting one of the few premiere scholarships available. Chatham could implement a similar process for those on the Dean’s List, members of Chatham Student Government or club officers. Providing scholarships to those students would show the University’s appreciation for students who excel in classes and engage on campus while also making students feel rewarded for certain activities, driving students that attend to succeed in the classroom and get involved on campus. 

I have been on the Dean’s List in my first three semesters at Chatham, and that’s cool and all, but what do I or any other student gain from it? I get an email with a PDF of the list attached telling us “Congratulations! You have made the Dean’s List,” with the possibility that my hometown newspaper or media outlet will put my name in it. Students put in the hard work, and even sometimes tears, in order to make this high accomplishment of getting on the Dean’s List, and all you have to be rewarded with is an emailed PDF file. 

Scholarship could also help students feel more appreciated and encouraged to continue their education at Chatham. The national average year-to-year retention rate is 76.5% according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and providing continuing students with scholarships could help Chatham retain students.

One of the most important factors when students are deciding what college to go to is affordability. A recent study done on the website “BestColleges,” shows that over 53% of students list affordability as their main concern in choosing a college. 

But after starting the first semester, you aren’t able to earn additional scholarship aid from Chatham, which is upsetting considering the rising costs to attend. 

Among different life stressors, student debt seems to be one of the heavy hitters. In a survey done by ELVTR magazine, 56% of Americans felt some level of anxiety due to student debt, while other symptoms like depression, insomnia or panic attacks were also expressed. 

For me, the standard costs like technology, college and tuition fees increased by a total of $842 from last year to this year. On Feb. 26, an email was sent out to all students saying that we will see an increase of $658.50 next school year in these same fee categories. As the cost to attend Chatham rises each year, students may rely on more loan money, but that could be avoided, or lessened, if they were able to earn additional funds. 

Chatham should have these scholarships because they would lighten the financial stress on students returning to the university. By supporting their educational endeavors with scholarships, Chatham not only empowers these students but also strengthens the overall academic environment for everyone.

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About the Contributor
Gage Bertovich
Gage Bertovich, Contributing Writer
Gage Bertovich '26 is a Communications major with a concentration in public relations. Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, Gage wanted to come to Pittsburgh to experience the city life and mix it with his love for the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. His main expertise is in the digital/video portion, but from time-to-time may work elsewhere. In his free time, Gage likes to explore Pittsburgh, try new food, and play video games. Gage can best be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @12gage_gun.

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