Editorial: Unwilling to think beyond the possible

For a university that strives to stretch its collective mind beyond the possible, it’s frankly not doing too much to move beyond the status quo of current international student practices. Case Western Reserve University is home to thousands of brilliant, intelligent students, faculty, staff, and administrators – yet no one is able to come up with a fair financial assistance solution for international students.

Don’t get us wrong – there are a lot of new and growing resources for international students. ESS, for example, has worked hard this semester to organize weekly spoken English conversation groups for undergraduate and graduate students alike. New Student and Parent Programs hosted the first-ever international student orientation to great acclaim from administrators and students. Kelvin Smith Library has plans to move the international student lounge and reading area out of the basement and into a more open, well-lit space. Yet the question remains – if we’re providing them with all of these new resources to help them adjust to life in the states, why are we content telling them that financial assistance is just too far beyond the possible?

CWRU can educate future doctors, lawyers, and engineers, but for years, they’ve claimed it’s just too difficult to actually come up with a system to distribute merit-based aid to international students. CWRU can teach a young biomedical engineer how to create a synthetic artery, but creating a rubric to measure the accomplishments of incoming international students is too far beyond their grasp.

Notice anything wrong with this picture?

How about that the university has noted they’ve lost talented international students before because they didn’t offer any financial aid? This is compounded by the fact that the only reason international students were not granted any university aid was because of “budget reasons.” Although we hoped, in an earlier editorial, that the university was not so nefarious as to try to entice full-sticker-price-paying international students just to take them for every penny they’ve got, turns out there’s something to that theory after all.

It’s embarrassing that the university has brazenly used students in this way and seemed to never give it a second thought until very recently. And what’s worse, there was no sign of any desire to change the policy over the years. Administrators were unabashed in their seeking of international students to help pay our bills. It wasn’t until halfway through this semester that the university decided to move away from this entirely unjust and deceitful policy.

Ultimately, whatever the impetus for the university’s change of heart this semester, we’re glad to see that administrators will begin at least looking into ending the policy and we hope that they’ll start implementing long-term financial solutions for all students regardless of citizenship status.