Class of '79
20th Anniversary Class
May 28 & 29, 1999
Hope this letter finds all things well with you, and enjoying the early stages of spring!
In the following paragraphs, I have added some Gustie trivia, if interested and don’t know the answers, contact me!
Thank you to those classmates who contacted me following my first attempt at a class letter. I appreciated hearing from old friends, as well as those that introduced themselves 20+ years later. It was interesting that in addition to just wanting to say "hi," I did receive some feedback on information classmates want to read in future correspondence I send out. In this letter, I will address one of those topics…financing a Gustavus education today. Once again, if there is anything I can do as your class agent, please feel free to contact me at any time. The various ways to reach me are noted later in this newsletter.
Name the band that played at "The Barn" for homecoming our senior year?
Hard to believe but "The Storm" is now one year old. Gustavus has definitely been re-built, better than ever, and evidence of building for the future is apparent. I was on campus recently to see the men’s basketball team play in the NCAA regional tournament, and it is exciting to see the state of the campus. One example is the new student union construction. It is going to be fantastic when it opens next fall! I have also been asked to serve on an advisory group exploring the building of a new outdoor track and field facility on campus. It appears that it will be built adjacent to the Forum of Lund Center and construction could begin within this next year! With some warmer weather and sunshine, plus a little rain, things on the Hill will look great for your Reunion Weekend.
Who was commencement guest speaker for our graduation ceremony?
Speaking of Reunion Weekend, please find enclosed the event itinerary for the weekend of May 28-30. I really hope you will make plans to attend the reception at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington the evening of the 28th, and/or the full day of activities on the campus the 29th. You will be receiving complete schedules and registration forms by mail in April. You can also register on the Alumni website on the Gustavus homepage at: gustavus.edu. Contact me if you have any requests (college information, classmate addresses, photos, etc.) and I will try to take care of it.
Who directed the Gustavus Choir our senior year?
I will mention one other event going on in May, and that is the Alumni Association Banquet on May 20th honoring faculty and administrators who are retiring and those who have served 10-40 years. Retirees this year include Professor of Biology Mike Anderson ’54 and Professor of Physics Dick Fuller.
Finally, the class of ’79 is currently down in their annual giving from last year, both in the total dollar amount and the number of donors. It is time to step up as the giving year draws to a close. At this point, I implore those that have made a gift pledge to the Gustavus Fund to send your money in. Whether it is for the first time, or the first time in a long time, do it now. Small or large, consider a gift to ensure the quality of academics, programs, and people that ARE Gustavus!
Who preceded current legendary Gustie men’s tennis coach Steve Wilkinson?
Hope to see you in May!
1979 Co-Class Agent
As previously mentioned, some classmates have responded to me about their interest, concern and request for more information on making a Gustavus education financially possible for their children. I hope the following helps whether you have a child beginning the college search soon or in the future, and/or have a friend whose child is in the same situation:
Gustavus Financing Primer
Like in the 70’s, Gustavus still uses the comprehensive fee when it comes to the annual cost of a Gustie education. It includes tuition, room, board, and most fees, but not some activity/technology fees ($230) or books, transportation and personal expenses ($1,430). It is expected that the latter expenses will be higher for students attending Gustavus from a distance of 500+ miles. However, if a student demonstrates a need for financial assistance, these additional costs are considered in determining the student’s financial aid.
1998-99 Comprehensive Fee $20,710
Need-based Financial Aid
Over 70% of all Gusties are eligible for need-based financial assistance. For the 1998-99 year, the average financial aid award is $13,000. This award consists of three components: grant scholarship (don’t have to pay it back), loan (you have to pay it back), and work-study (earn part of your way). The average financial aid award would look something like this for 1998-99:
$ 7,150 Grant Scholarship
1,600 Work Study (this is the maximum allowed i.e. 9 hr/wk.)
Remember that the above is an "average." Some students receive significantly more…and some less. It should be mentioned that the better a student’s high school record and test scores, the higher percentage of grant scholarship in a need–based package (i.e. the loan and work study will decrease).
Need-based assistance is not determined just by family income. If you have convinced yourself that a Gustavus, or similar private school, education will not be affordable for your child, I strongly encourage you to visit with a college representative, complete the necessary form, and confirm your thoughts. Even if the news is not good, it is obvious that Gustavus is doing more than ever to make it affordable for you to enroll your child. There are now several types of merit-based and "no need" financial assistance. Finally, there are factors that will affect a need-based financial aid package…outside scholarships, financial changes during the year, and divorce, to name a few. Contacting the Office of Student Financial Assistance in such situations will resolve these circumstances.
Gustavus now offers financial assistance based on merit and do not require a student to demonstrate financial eligibility. Some examples:
- Alumni Scholarships of $2,500 per year (renewable over four years - $10,000!) are awarded to children and grandchildren of Gustavus alumni. Recipients will have a high school grade point average of at least 3.5, or composite test scores of 26 on the ACT or 1170 on the SAT. The scholarship is renewable with maintenance of a 3.0 grade average. Note: 67 of the 70 new entering Gusties this past fall, that are children of alumni, were awarded this scholarship!!)
- Congregational Scholarships are awarded by a student’s home congregation (any congregational denomination) in amounts of up to $1,000 and will be matched by Gustavus at a rate of 1.5 times for each congregational dollar.
- Norelius Service Awards of $1,500 are given annually to 30 students. Applicants should demonstrate commitment, initiative, and innovation in service to their community, church or school. These awards, renewable with maintenance of a 2.8 grade point average, recognize exceptional leadership in assistance to others. Winners are expected to continue with service activities at Gustavus.
- Partners in Scholarship recognizes up to 35 students from the incoming class with renewable awards of $7,500 per year. Winners typically rank at or near the top of their high school graduating class, have composite test scores of at least 32 (ACT) or 1400 (SAT). Recipients are encouraged to participate in a faculty mentorship program in area of their academic interest. The award is renewable by maintaining a 3.25 cumulative grade average.
There are others that are designated for students pursuing specific academic fields and also just transfer students.
"No-need" financial assistance
Gustavus has a variety of programs designed to make paying for college as manageable and streamlined as possible for students:
- Guaranteed Cost Plan still exists, offering a way to know what your costs will be for each of the four years. Ensures that your yearly cost (excluding spending money) will increase by no more than 2.5% each year. Participants pay a one-time premium of $500 in the fall of the first year. Most families take advantage of this program as a way to control and plan for college costs.
- Individual Payment Plans allows a family to design their own payment schedule, submit it to the Gustavus Finance Office, where they will work with you to determine appropriate interest charges.
- Key Monthly Payment Plan is a program Gustavus participates with through Key Education Resources. This program which enables families to "pay as you go," making ten equal payments during the school year.
- Financing Consultation through Key is a program that works with families to help determine the best college finance strategy for their circumstances. This advising is available at no cost to families considering Gustavus by contacting the Gustavus Finance Office.
For those of you who may have some interest in this topic, I hope this information helps give you some insight and reason for optimism that you may have lacked. However, the best advice is to VISIT campus to investigate Gustavus. There is an upcoming special event where you can visit:
- Junior Day, Saturday, April 24, 1999
A great introduction to Gustavus for current high school juniors, the event includes tours, sessions with academic programs, lunch, extra-curricular activity interest meetings, and lunch.
Call 1-800-GUSTAVU(S) to register and/or to get more details on any of the items mentioned above. Obviously, you are also welcome to schedule a visit to campus almost anytime that is convenient to you!