Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Student Testifies for More Aid

When Justin Lepscier (MSB ’08) received an acceptance letter from Georgetown, like so many other aspiring college students, he wondered how he would pay for it.

Yesterday, in front of 300 leaders from the business, education and government sectors, Lepscier was one of three student speakers who discussed his effort to overcome the obstacles in the way of his earning a university degree.

“I was . very fortunate to have scholarships and grants that were available to me. I also had to take out loans,” said Lepscier, a Menominee Native American from Wisconsin.

The summit, convened by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, sought to encourage higher education officials to address the concerns of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. In a report last year, the commission issued a number of recommendations, including increased need-based financial aid, new math and science curricula, and a national strategy for lifelong learning.

The Native American-owned firm that employs Lepscier, Master Key Consulting, recommended him as a good candidate for the panel discussion. “I think that one of the reasons they picked me was my unique background,” he said, referring to his experience as a Native American from one of the poorest areas of Wisconsin.

Jonathan Wilber, the chief executive officer of Master Key Consulting, said the Department of Education is a client of the company, which thought Lepscier would do a good job in speaking about his experiences.

“He was not only accepted [to Georgetown] but figured out a way to pay for it and has done quite well,” Wilber said. “We just felt that through his experiences in selecting Georgetown . he would be an ideal candidate.”

At the summit, Lepscier said that it was very difficult to move to a different area and be able to pay for college education.

“While I was excited, I was also nervous because the costs seemed overwhelming to me,” he said at the panel, according to a transcript. “I must also admit to being a bit frightened, which I hope will not be lost on the educational leaders here who seek to have students from other cultures attend their universities.”

Lepscier said that he is attending Georgetown with the help of a university scholarship and both Stafford and Perkins federal loans, in addition to financial assistance from his family.

Scott Fleming (SFS ’72), assistant to the university president for federal relations, said that he hopes Lepscier’s participation will help foment change in financial aid.

“If you look at someone like Justin and see how important federal and Georgetown institutional aid is to his ability to pursue his dream and maximize his potential, I can’t imagine that they won’t agree that these programs need to be enhanced, not cut,” Fleming said.

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya