Tag Archives: Money

Managing the Dollar Demand

By: Joe Walsh

Everyone knows the economy is in rough shape. If you are a college student with a middle class upbringing, money can be very tight when the tuition bill comes. For a student that has a sibling about to enter college, money can be even more of an issue.

Unfortunately, there aren’t an abundance of scholarships that erase a full four year’s of college bills. Oprah and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition have the market cornered on those for their lucky recipients.

Fortunately, there are strategies to help ease the burden. Joseph Weglarz, the Executive Director of Student Financial Services at Marist College, sat down with The River Reporter last week to discuss how to best make the financial burden of college easier on students and their families.

It’s a Jigsaw Puzzle

“I always tell people that ask me how to best pay for college to treat it like a jigsaw puzzle,” Weglarz said. “You have to find multiple ways supplement the cost of college.”

That means those cure-all scholarships mentioned before really are a rarity. Weglarz suggest to use some of the following programs and strategies to

The 529 Plan

“Most people don’t know about this but it can be one of the pieces you use to ease the burden financially.”

There are two subcategories of the 529 Plan: pre-paid tuition plans and college savings plans.

The pre-paid plan lets someone purchase college credits early at a locked in rate. It is only

Plan ahead with your money. From learnnc.org

Plan ahead with your money. From learnnc.org

available for participating universities, but state governments generally guarantee the investment. On the downside it does not cover costs like room and board

The college savings plan is a bit more flexible when it comes to what the money goes towards. Account holders have the money they put in invested for them. On the downside, the investments are riskier and are not usually covered by the state.

If you did not notice, this is something that requires you to save ahead of time for school.

Off Campus Housing

Even though Marist provides on campus housing, Weglarz says, “You can find more affordable housing off campus.”

The trade-off here obviously is the convenience of location with on campus housing and the added expense of gas to commute.


You probably heard of this from your high school guidance counselor. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is received by the federal government and determines if you need federal assistance.

It is all about using multiple sources of money to pay for school. From cardiomyopathy.org.

It is all about using multiple sources of money to pay for school. From cardiomyopathy.org.

Weglarz admits however that the average middle class family does not receive much from the FASFA.

“The FASFA doesn’t take into account fact that you may have a mortgage or how much the cost of living is where you live,” Weglarz said. “The government does encourage students and families to contact the school and try to work something out with them.”

Endowed Scholarships

Marist College has a wide range of scholarships students can apply for. They are easily accessible from the Marist Web site. They are awarded based on need and academic major.

“A lot of them have specific requirements, but if you find one that’s for you, you should definitely apply,” Weglarz suggested.

You also need a teacher recommendation for them, so be sure to talk to a professor about getting one.

The Verdict

“Like I said,” Weglarz concluded. “There is no one solution to paying for a higher education. You have to approach it from different sides. Like I said before, it’s like a jigsaw puzzle.”


Here Comes the Sun! Now Where are the Jobs?

By Ashley Posimato

The powerful rays of the almost-summer sun reflect beautifully off the Hudson River, over the campus’s most popular lawn– infested with students satisfying their desires in the form of a blanket and a book or a frisbee and a football– and into the daunting library windows where you sit.  Sweat pours down your face as result of both the heat of the wall-length, fully lit window, and the quickly approaching deadlines and finals that at one time seemed intangibly distant. You stare mindlessly at textbook in front of you and although the words on the page are vehicles driving down a one-way street to the world of academia, the meaning you derive from them seems to look very different.

A grass hut creating the only shade on your exclusive caribbean getaway?  A brand new expensive pair of sunglass to boast confidently as you walk along the shore?

Photo By: Kuartos.com

Photo By: Kuartos.com

Or a jobless, fruitless summer vacation, because school is almost out, your almost broke, and the chances of scoring a job as a welcome home gift are slim– especially this year.

Erin Hanlon, current junior at Marist College, has very mixed feelings about the closing of the school year.

“I mean I’m extremely excited for summer, to see my friends and my family,”  Hanlon said, “But there’s almost nothing special to look forward to, at least not until I find a job.”

The likelihood of find a job immediately after returning home is especially discouraging this season.

Joe Conti, general manager of IHOP in West Babylon, New York, is already feeling the pressure of all the college kids returning from school.

“Some of these kids have worked here for four and five summers,” Conti said, “I have a strong loyalty to them but I only have so much to work with this year.”

As a franchise restaurant, there are constant requirements and limitations, including number of staff, that vary according to profit, and that each location must adhere to.

“I would love to take everyone back this summer, but I just laid off two servers and a cook,” Conti said, “I can’t give shifts to my college returners, after just taking them away from some full-time staffers.”

The willingness of companies to consider applicants, especially with the huge numbers being received, is declining quickly.  At Marist’s recent Spring Career and Internship fair, students found that even as prospective interns, expected to work for free, they were experiencing equal difficulty securing positions.  With jobs, and internship opportunities similarly scarce, it has become increasingly deterring for students looking for work.

Kristen Kapral, junior at Marist College,  said that the shift of her main concerns is represented by her internet searches.

“This time of year I used to be on travel agent sites […] planning my summer vacation,” Kapral said. “But after having no success at the career fair, all I have been doing is searching internship engines, and job openings.”

The days of summer splurges seem to be irrelevant this season as students trade in their urges to travel and their well-deserved designer sunglasses, for human resources contacts and any possibility to attend an open-call interview.

“If I don’t get a job or an internship my mom is going to bug me to hangout with her everyday, Kapral said.  “Either way it’s going to be one heck of a summer.”

Putting an End to Foreclosures: Obama’s Bailout Plan

By Sara Shea

From fortune five hundred companies to average American homeowners, “bailout” is the buzzword everyone is talking about. With the economy in a recession and the housing market in a slump, the government is scrambling to appease uneasy Americans.

According to the New York Times, “Almost one in 10 home mortgages is either delinquent or in foreclosure, and analysts estimate that as many as six million families could lose their homes over the next three years in the absence of government action.”

Over the past year the economy has gone down and the number of foreclosed homes has gone up. Homeowners are frantic because many cannot afford the large mortgage payments due to high interest rates.

Over the past year the economy has gone down and the number of foreclosed homes has gone up. Homeowners are frantic because many cannot afford the large mortgage payments due to high interest rates.

Young people across the country are feeling the effects of the ailing housing market. “My girlfriend’s dad has been out of work for almost eight months,” said University of Maine junior Alex Ortiz. She will have to transfer because her parents can not afford tuition. It’s between sending her to school and keeping a roof over their heads.

Marist College academic advisor Nancy Lemmermann has several students under extreme pressure due to the recession and housing crisis. “I have one student who is struggling with her GPA,” said Lemmermann. “If she loses her scholarship she can’t afford to stay here.”

Though some believe government aid is needed to help the housing market, others argue that government aid is interfering with the economic cycle and that the housing crisis will be fixed in time.

President Obama has proposed a bailout plan that could help as many as nine million Americans refinance or avoid foreclosure. Though this plan sounds like the perfect solution to the ailing housing market, according to the Huffington Post it could cost tax payers between $275 and $350 billion.

“Its our best hope, buyers are buying again,” said California real estate agent Doug Digiore. “A lot of first time home buyers are back, which we haven’t seen in over a year. It’s really our only option, so I’m hopeful, but I’m not putting all of my eggs in one basket.”

According to the New York Times, the suggested bailout will target “homeowners who are still current on their payments, but who are paying high interest rates and cannot refinance,” as well as “about four million people who are at risk of losing their homes.”

“The bailout sounds great on paper, when you know very few details,” said Marist College junior Trey Savage. “Though I don’t have that much real world experience, as a business major I think the bailout is more like a band aid than a real solution.”

With a glimmer of hope in the distance, homeowners are slowly regaining confidence in America’s once thriving housing industry. Potential homebuyers are back in the market and home prices are starting to regain traction. Though the future is unpredictable, President Obama’s bailout is helping to reverse the nation’s economic tailspin.

For more information regarding the government bailout please see the following sites.


Center For Responsible Lending

The New Housing Plan

Living it Up on a Budget

By Sara Shea

College is an experience unlike any other, but between tuition and books, students spend a small fortune over the course of four years. With the price of tuition rising again next year, Marist students are no exception.  So how does one still manage to enjoy college when extremely strapped for cash?

For students who do not have a car, there are several off campus dining options that are within walking distance or deliver.  The first is a staple of the Marist College campus, Campus Deli. Located directly across the street and open until at least 3 a.m. every night of the week, Campus Deli offers hot sandwiches and loads of others goodies at reasonable prices.

A great off campus dining option that delivers is Emiliano’s Pizza. Every Sunday Emiliano’s runs a “Marist Special,” which offers students free delivery and $6 large pies.

“Emiliano’s is the best pizza I’ve had in Poughkeepsie,” sophomore Marissa Conroy said. “Being Italian and coming from Staten Island, I know good pizza, and Emiliano’s definitely has it down.”

Not in the mood for pizza? Try Ginger Chinese, they offer free delivery to Marist as well as a free egg roll and soda with the purchase of any lunch or dinner special.

Not in the mood for pizza? Try Ginger Chinese, they offer free delivery to Marist as well as a free egg roll and soda with the purchase of any lunch or dinner special.

For students who do have access to transportation, the Hudson Valley is overflowing with places to go, things to do, and top rated restaurants to try. The Eveready Diner, located about five miles south on Route 9, has been recognized by The Food Network as one of the best diners in the nation. Though the prices at The Eveready are already pretty cheap, Marist students get an additional 15% off their bill with their students I.D. card.

As far as entertainment is concerned, Marist could not be in a better location. From drive-in movie theaters to Broadway trips, the possibilities are endless.  The Hyde Park Drive-In Theater is just a few minutes south of Marist.

Open since 1949, the drive-in's 82 inch screen has played movies for generations.

Open since 1949, the drive-in's 82 inch screen has played movies for generations.

Though the theater is closed for most of the academic year, it re-opens every year on April 15th, giving Marist students about a month to enjoy the big screen. Admission is $7 regularly, but on Tuesdays adults can get in for $5. Compared to the usual $10.50 at the Galleria, Tuesdays at the Drive-In are a steal.

Finally, Marist students can take trips to New York City. Whether they go through the school or on their own, students can travel round trip for under $40. Students must go on at least one Broadway trip during their four years at Marist. For $25 students are bussed to and from the city and receive tickets to big name Broadway shows. 

The train station is walking distance from Marist and a roundtrip ticket to New York City on Metro-North Railroad is $26.50.  Only an hour and a half train ride from the Big Apple, students should take full advantage and visit the city as often as possible.

“There’s always something to do in the city,” freshman Kara Chamberlain said. “When I went last weekend I saw them setting up fashion week and when I went earlier this semester I saw ‘Wicked’ on Broadway. I could never get bored in New York, that’s one of the main reasons I chose Marist.” 

Students at Marist work extremely hard, so it is only fair that they have fun in their free time. Whether students are looking for some good grub or a weekend adventure they should never let a lack of funds limit their college experience. 

Motivated by Money: Students are Determined to Stay On-Campus

By Ashley Posimato

Have you ever had a door slammed in your face?  If you have been deprived of this opportunity thus far but have some sort of desire to subject yourself to this level of disrespect, there is a simple phrase that assures this repercussion:

“Good evening I’m the RA on duty, the reason I am here is that your music is too loud and the amount of people flowing in and out of your house could quite possibly field two football teams.” Guaranteed door slam.

The life and work of an resident assistant can be described by a variety of emotions: rewarding, disheartening, embarrassing, and empowering.  Yet no matter the connotation of each individual experience, there is a general consensus of the uniqueness of the job. Which is why it is for a desirable position for some people.



Then there is the additional financial incentive that has recently, due to the state of the economy, made the job even more attractive.  With the housing selection process approaching, an inflated number of RA applications have accumulated in the housing office.

Joseph Gaurdino, resident director of Sheahan Hall, and head of the RA selection committee is very familiar with the hiring process and has confirmed the enormity of this year’s applicant pool.

“While the numbers may be similar to other years in the past, I do believe that the reasoning for so many students to be applying to be RAs this year has a lot to do with the economic situation that we are currently in,” Guardino said.

In some cases the resident assistant job has transcended being desirable, and has become necessary to continue their education.

“Many students are looking for ways to cover costs that parents, at least initially, believed that they could cover but are now finding difficult to do so,” Guardino added. “I have definitely heard a lot from current candidates that they need this in order to stay at the school.”

The climate of the economy proves not only to be detrimental to people in the work force, but also for those who are trying to complete their education.  The quality of the new RA candidates must be examined closely now that the motivation is largely financial.

“I am actually not concerned about the quality of the candidates that are applying,” Guardino said. “If a student needs a job they are more likely to work harder at it in order to make sure they keep that job.”