In light of the economic recession, it is no surprise that university data show increased need for financial aid among many Georgetown students.
The Office of Student Financial Services has seen a large rise in the number of students requesting financial aid. In addition, the initial aid given by the university often has been insufficient.
“Since March of this year, we’ve seen 400 appeals for undergraduate financial aid,” said Andy Pino, the university’s director of media relations. “That compares to 450 total for the entire previous year.”
Appeals can be filed by students who find their allotted aid from the university insufficient.
In order to account for the increasing need of students, the university expects a corresponding rise in the amount of financial aid it will give this year.
“Last year, Georgetown spent just over $62 million on need-based undergraduate financial aid. We anticipate spending 10 percent more this year based on increased need we’re seeing from students,” Pino said.
However, the university may not be able to process aid and appeals in a timely manner.
“We are overwhelmed at the moment,” said Kathleen Phelan, executive assistant to the dean at the Office of Student Financial Services.
Additionally, the university endowment, part of which is used to provide financial aid, dropped 12.5 percent in 2008.
In a letter sent out on Nov. 5, 2008, University President John J. DeGioia stated that the crisis could also affect the ability of students to obtain loans.
“We are also monitoring the student loan market and developing the capability to become a direct lending institution, should that be needed to give our students continued access to affordable credit,” DeGioia said in the letter.
Georgetown was approved as a direct lending institution in October, and was able to start giving loans as of June 1, 2009.
With the endowments of many institutions across the country dropping in the recession, other universities in the area are facing similar problems with financial aid requests.
Sixty-four percent of students at The George Washington University are receiving aid this year, [according to The GW Hatchet](https://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2009/08/31/News/Financial.Aid.Applications.Appeals.Increase-3759740.shtml). Applications for aid at GWU have risen 11 percent since last year, and 335 appeals for additional aid have been filed. “