The first year of university can be overwhelming to some. Costs of education go up and grades tend to drop. But don’t fret because the administrative staff at the University of King’s College is here to help.
The three offices, Registrar’s Office, Bursar’s Office and the Advancement Office, each deal with students in different ways.
As mentioned, one of the big concerns for students in university is the price of tuition. Elizabeth Yeo, Registrar, said students should not be embarrassed to ask for financial assistance.
“We recognize that the majority of students will need some extra funding to come through. Some people are able to cover through part time work and summer savings,” she said.
Yeo added there are shortfalls that many students face. For example, instead of studying, students are working part-time to pay off schooling.
“Sometimes unexpected things come up as well,” she explained. “Plans don’t always go according to plan. Families sometimes have to move, (there are) employment changes or illnesses and that’s what the funds are there for.”
Last year, approximately 150 students received bursaries.
However, Yeo said money isn’t the only issue students have in university. GPA’s are a problem too. If a student’s grades go below the course’s minimum mark, they will be recommended for Academic Advising.
If a student fears they are failing, they can make an appointment to see the registrar. Yeo said, students can drop a course and make it up later. And depending on the situation, students may be allowed to drop the course without any penalties.
“We do a lot of work with students who are moving from first year into second year. After that, our advising is more in line with meeting degree requirements,” Yeo said.
“Sometimes a student is struggling academically because they are working too much and in that case they come see us with an academic problem but we can solve it with a financial aid,” she added.
Katie Brousseau, a second year student at King’s, said her experience with the Registrar’s Office was incredibly helpful.
“They’re generally very knowledgeable and have the answers to my questions, especially concerning course selection and planning out my future in university.”
But if grades aren’t an issue, there are plenty of scholarships to go around that award students for their academic excellence. Last year, King’s had $800,000 to give to roughly 200 students.
The Bursar’s Office monitors every cent the university takes in. Jim Fitzpatrick oversees the operation.
From scholarships, to staff payments, to financial assistance, a major contributor to the school is the endowment fund.
This fund is “all of the funds that we’ve been receiving over the many decades, that King’s has been around, that are invested,” Fitzpatrick said.
He added, “The income of which is used to pay for scholarships, bursaries, faculty chairs and all sorts of miscellaneous things.”
Every university has an endowment fund to support the operations of the university.
“Ours is fairly large, relatively speaking, per capita basis because we’ve been around for so many years,” said Fitzpatrick.
Harvard and Yale have massive endowment funds, which is a major part of how they meet their budget each year.
Once a King’s student graduates, they are part of the Alumni family. This is where a big part of the Advancement Office comes into play.
Kathy Miller, Alumni Relations Officers, said the aim of the office is to stay in touch with graduates through events such as dinners and golf tournaments.
“I’m hopeful that in the next year we’re going to see lots of changes in things coming out of the events that can (include) students and young alumni, and keep them connected to King’s once they leave so that it’s a life long relationship and it’s not just the time they’re here,” Miller said.
The Advancement Office also offers scholarships. Last year $8,050 was given out from nine awards.
But there’s something else that could bring dollar signs to students’ eyes in the mere future.
Miller said, “We’re just going through a planning process now where we’re setting strategic goals for the Alumni Association. One of those goals is to engage current students.”
Although details are scarce and everything is still in the planning process, Miller said the Advancement Office hope to create a job bank for students.
If the Alumni Association approves the request, Miller said she hopes to kick-start a job bank. The goal of it would be to help students find jobs during the summer months.
A lecture series is also something of interest to Miller. She said she would like to have guest speakers come to King’s to discuss budgeting, writing resumes, finding jobs and career planning.
Miller. She said she would like to have guest speakers come to King’s to discuss budgeting, writing resumes, finding jobs and career planning.
Miller assured, “They’re just in the planning stage right now and we have to get the Alumni to finesse and finalize the document and get them to accept then implement that.”
Miller made it clear that if this plan is approved, it will take a few months for a job bank or a lecture series to start up.
If there’s one thing to know about the administrative staff, Yeo said, they want students to come ask questions.
She said, “We’ve been at this for a long time and students don’t have to recreate the wheel. If things are not going as planned, or if (students) have questions, or if they just want to out know to make the most of this experience, come and see us because we are really happy to sit down, talk to them and give them some ideas about how other students have made it an extraordinary experience.”