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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

JBS finances and programs finalized

Published: October 23, 2009
Section: Front Page

<i>INFOGRAPHIC BY Alex Schneider/The Hoot</i>

INFOGRAPHIC BY Alex Schneider/The Hoot

The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) reviewed nine Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) pilot program proposals yesterday, which will be reviewed by Dean of Arts and Sciences Adam Jaffe for approval next week.

Jaffe refused to discuss which proposals the UCC had or had not approved, explaining that he wished to notify members involved with the proposals before he informed the press.

The UCC has also decided that admissions to the JBS summer program will be need-blind and that all students will have access to both merit-based and need-based financial aid, Dean of Financial Services and JBS committee member Peter Guimette said.

In this sense, JBS will divert from Brandeis’ traditional summer school financial-aid policy. While admissions to the university during the school year are need-blind, Brandeis summer school is not.

This is because JBS will be run through Academic Services, not through the Rabb summer school.

On-campus housing for a standard double room and the most common meal plan for students will be factored into the cost of the JBS and can be covered by any financial aid awarded.

Merit based aid will be awarded for JBS on a percentage basis, therefore if a student has 75 percent of their tuition covered during the typical school year they will have 75 percent of their JBS covered said Guimette.

Need-based aid will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, because state and federal grants such as the Stafford loan may have been previously maximized for the school year.

Private loans are always an option for students to make up the gap between what the university grants and a student’s family is able or willing to pay, however it has not been decided whether Brandeis institutional loans will be available for JBS. Plus loans, a loan taken out by the parent of a student for any costs associated with education, will be available to both students who currently have one and students who don’t but qualify, said Guimette.

Guimette advises all students to make an appointment with financial services for an individual counseling session while they are in the application process for a JBS.

“You don’t want to have to go down the road to then realize you can’t” said Guimette.

Professor Tim Hickey (COS) wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot that the committee has done its best to make JBS available to all students.

“The JBS programs are being designed to allow students to continue to receive their financial aid and in some cases can be less expensive. For example, the extended semester JBS that I’m developing for Computer Science would allow students to use their usual financial aid, but the semester would be extended from the normal Aug-Dec to a Jun-Dec semester, and it would provide 5 course credits for that usual tuition. Students would be able to be housed on campus during the summer, but no guarantees could be made for the academic year. This is currently the status quo for juniors and seniors anyway since more people want housing than is available,” Hickey wrote in his e-mail.

There will be two deadlines for this summer’s JBS, with early decision applications due Jan. 29, and regular decision applications being due Mar. 15. An admissions committee that includes both faculty and administration will review applications.

Information sessions will be held in December and January, and Undergraduate Department Representatives will be charged with raising awareness about the programs.

“The key challenges now are getting the word out about the current JBS pilots as well as getting students involved in helping to fine tune these JBS pilots,” Hickey wrote.

Proposals for next fall and spring’s JBS programs are due by Dec. 1.