Regents to increase financial aid, veterans' grants

The Regents voted to increase financial aid to more than $30 million for students in 2010-2011 on Tuesday. This is an increase of $4.8 million more than Eastern Michigan University’s current financial aid budget.

Of the $30 million, $18.1 million is expected to go toward scholarships, grants and awards; $7 million in athletic grants-in-aid; and $4.4 million will be allocated to graduate student aid.

According to President Sue Martin, $3 million of the additional aid is due to an estimated increase in revenue for the winter semester. Enrollment increased by 4 percent for the fall semester and, if winter enrollment is consistent, EMU will have $7.2 million more in tuition and fees than budgeted.

For the roughly $2 million left from increased tuition and fees, EMU is taking into account the current economic troubles and has not decided if it will be used toward any projects.

“We will be conservative and conscious with our fiscal responsibilities,” said Martin during the regents meeting.

Veterans to receive new grant

Out-of-state veterans will be able to receive some financial relief with a new grant approved by the regents. The Vet Connect Award will offer non-residential veterans who have been honorably discharged in-state tuition.

“By establishing the EMU Vet Connect Award, Eastern Michigan University continues its strong commitment to welcome veterans to our campus and support them in getting their degrees,” said Bernice Lindke, the vice president of student affairs and enrollment.

The grant will be honored immediately for qualifying veterans, Lindke said.

Other actions being taken to make EMU a more “veteran-friendly” school include the student organization Student Veterans of America, a lounge for veterans to meet one another and the Veteran’s Services office in McKenny Hall. *
Mathis is commencement speaker*

EMU alum, Michigan judge and television personality Judge Greg Mathis will be the commencement speaker at the Dec. 20 ceremony.

Mathis, who is most famous for his nationally syndicated court television show “Judge Mathis,” graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s in public administration and was active in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After his time at EMU, he earned a law degree from the University of Detroit in 1987 and in 1995 became the youngest person to be a Superior Court judge for Michigan’s 36th district.

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