The Associated Students of the University of La Verne held a town hall meeting April 13 that reviewed pressing issues, such as tuition increases and new buildings and improvements and gave students the chance to bring their concerns to the fore.
The most interesting point raised by a student was the lack of financial support for senior projects.
Senior projects in anthropology, communications and other departments, can be expensive to execute, and often students’ senior project success is somewhat dependent on their out-of-pocket expenditures instead of funding from the University.
One student at the town hall meeting reporters paying near $700 out of pocket to complete her senior project.
That’s great if you can afford it, but the quality of senior projects should not depend on how much money you have.
As students who pay more than $30,000 tuition yearly, and who many already pay additional lab fees for certain classes, why can’t some of that money we’ve already paid go toward supporting excellent senior projects, which are an important part of the La Verne Experience and a requirement academic success?
One possible solution for this unfair senior project system would be to give appropriate grants to students who are conducting research for their senior projects.
By giving grants and creating a live budget for students who need further financial assistance for this required course, it gives students a fair and level playing field to pursue their “capstone” projects.
It is unfair that students in some departments who are not able to financially support their senior project research may miss out on the opportunity to produce a project at he same level as their wealthier peers.
While some departments do not require any additional materials be purchased for senior projects, majors that do require additional expenditures are at a disadvantage.
Why not consider senior project funding as a part of the University’s ongoing fundraising “Comprehensive Campaign,” or even the 2020 or 2030 Strategic Vision? Or, administrators could create a competitive grant program for senior projects, or just make such funding part of department budgets. Offering funding for senior projects – in one of these way – would go a long way toward leveling the playing field, and enhancing the La Verne experience for seniors.