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Student discusses the Northern Promise

Northern Review writer, Andrew Saffell talks about his appreciation of the Ohio Northern Promise. (photo/ onu.edu)

Northern promise, I was extremely skeptical. Last year there was a series of articles in the paper that started about the Inn. I remember these articles digging into the financial situation of ONU. It was very disheartening to learn that our university didn't seem to have any money due to irresponsible use. After reading all of those articles about our finances, when they announced a new financial plan for the university, I was skeptical, to say the least.

However, after my interview with President DiBiasio and reading up on the Northern Promise, I was greatly encouraged.One of my biggest frustrations with Ohio Northern in the past has been debt. I am sure many of you are in the same boat, but when I was applying to schools, I almost didn't apply to Northern. Even when I did, I assumed I would turn it down, even after a visit. There were a bunch of other options available to me, and every single one of them was cheaper than ONU. Most of them were over $10,000 cheaper.

Months later, looking at the scholarship package, I was astounded to see that ONU had become one of the cheaper options. That is how I got to ONU while almost being driven away by money. This new idea of the Northern Promise is an interesting one. While not really lowering the money that the university gets, they have made it much more appealing to incoming students.

This means that enrollment should be higher, which gives the university more money to work with, which will allow them to improve a number of things. For example, in our interview, the President said a number of things that are in their sights to change on campus.

Keep in mind none of this is set in stone, but one of the ideas they had was a new, cheaper meal plan rather than the four meals a day plan. They also have discussed putting more money into the technology budget. The internet situation at ONU is abysmal in many places, and they would like to rectify that. I think these are great steps.

What I'm trying to get at is this: Not only has my skepticism in our college been proven wrong, but honestly, for the first time in a while, I'm hopeful for the future of something. Every time I look at a big institution, I get skeptical and slightly frustrated, but definitely not hopeful. I am proud to call ONU my school after reading and learning about this move.

It's financially responsible. It's sensitive to students' needs. It's working to lower student debt while maintaining our high standards of education. I have a lot of respect for our university after they unveiled this plan, and after our interview, I know that we're being led by a man that honestly has what's best for the students in mind. Well done, Dr. DiBiasio. I'm officially proud to be a polar bear.