Is College Worth It?Feb 22—This question comes more up more often than not in conversations that I have with family and friends, not to mention prospective students and their families. As a first generation college student, I can assure you that college is well worth the investment that students and families must make. I was the alphabet soup kid when it came to financial aid – I had every source of aid from a merit scholarship to federal and state need-based grants to student loans. Even when I was working towards my doctorate, I had a very large student loan – which I am still paying off.
The investment that I made in myself is well worth the cost both in terms of time and money. I can assure you that the statistics are correct: you will earn more money with a college degree than without – roughly more than $1 million over your lifetime. While the press and our politicians would have you thinking that every students is graduating with more than $100,000 in debt, those cases are only the exceptions. At Newbury, we have committed more than $10 million in institutional aid. This enables us to keep our net price lower than most private institutions and comparable with state colleges in and outside of Massachusetts. In fact, most of our students graduate with less than $35,000 in debt – about the same cost of a good new car. Certainly, your education will last much longer than your first car.
Looking back at my college experience, I have realized just how much of an impact it has had on my life. I have a career that I am passionate about and friends and colleagues that challenge me every day to think critically and creatively on a number of topics. When John Adams, our second President, wrote the Constitution of Massachusetts, he understood the importance of education and, in fact, it is a constitutional right in the Commonwealth – check the U.S. Constitution to see if education is a right.
As we look ahead to the careers of the 21st Century and our current affairs in Washington, our young people need to be educated and ready to compete in a global economy. They need to be engaged citizens and active participants within their communities. A college education will assist them greatly on both fronts, but more importantly it will help them to be independent thinkers and global minded citizens.
College is well worth the sacrifice and I’m confident that you will see the great benefits of what a Newbury education can do for you today and well into your future. Priority admission for the fall is occurring right now, so I would encourage you to apply and to visit us during our Winter Open House on February 24th.
In response to President Trump's Executive Order on ImmigrationJan 30—As many of you know, on Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order on immigration restricting people from seven specific countries from entering the United States. I would like to address this issue and assure all members of the Newbury Community that you are our greatest priority. As of right now, no student, faculty or staff member is directly affected, but we are not taking this situation lightly. While this situation is creating some anxiety across the country, let me assure you about our commitment to each other as members of the Newbury Community.
Newbury is an institution dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming community to all students, faculty and staff regardless of personal beliefs, country of origin, socioeconomic status, race, gender, or any other category. We are firmly committed to a diverse and inclusive College environment. You will continue to be safe, welcomed, respected and valued at Newbury.
We remain concerned about the members of our Community who may be directly or indirectly affected by this decision. This morning we identified several key individuals who can lend their support and help those in need of assistance:
- Paul Martin, Vice President and Chief of Staff
- Anne-Marie Kenney, Dean of Student Success
- Jennifer Forry, Interim Dean of Student Affairs
- Jonathan Harper, Director of Athletics
- Dr. Laurie Gordy, Dean of Faculty
- Susan Chamandy, Director of Counseling & Health Education
For our international students, I would strongly advise you to speak with Jennifer Forry, who is the College’s PDSO, before you travel abroad. In addition, I would encourage everyone to keep informed as this issue may become more fluid in the coming weeks and months.
Please reach out to any of these individuals for support or with any concerns. We are all committed to the well-being of the entire Newbury Community.
Spring Semester Begins at NewburyJan 18—Welcome back, Nighthawks! And welcome, new students. Spring semester has begun and we have officially started our new Monday to Thursday class schedule. As a returning Nighthawk, it is important that you continue to improve your grades and take yet another step closer to graduation. If this is your first semester at Newbury, you certainly want to start off on a good foot, know that right now is a blank slate and you have every opportunity to achieve your academic goals and aspirations. I am confident that you all can succeed if you put in the time and effort. Your academic success requires dedication and a willingness to do better each and every day.
Our faculty and staff work hard to help our students succeed. We have a nationally-recognized Student Success Center to assist each student in their academic and professional pursuits. There are group study spaces, Macs and PCs, printers, photocopiers, and many tutors and counselors available as a resource. Remember, Newbury believes in you. Good luck to all students as we begin our Spring semester. For our graduates, Commencement is just months away – enjoy your final semester at Newbury!
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day:Jan 16—As we remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King today, it serves as a good reminder of the values that we cherish here at Newbury College. The importance of inclusiveness and the ability to embrace diverse thoughts and opinions are critically important to the democracy of our country and the responsibility that we all share in making our communities a better place. Dr. King’s legacy is much needed today as we are facing the potential challenges to the very rights that our Founding Fathers established in the creation of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. Today, we must remember the need to embrace diverse ideas as these ideas are the very ones that make each of our communities stronger.
Newbury’s Community reflects the very nature of Dr. King’s vision for inclusion and diversity. Our Community reflects the multicultural society that our world has become. Our values define who we are individually and collectively as a Community. I am grateful for the many wonderful things that Newbury represents and the diversity of our campus which truly enriches the educational experience for all. As we remember Dr. King today, it is important that we all take responsibility to ensure that his vision and the light of our society remains forever bright.
Happy 55th Birthday to Newbury!Jan 12—Today, we are proud to celebrate Newbury’s 55th birthday. In 1962, Newbury College, then named Newbury School of Business, was founded on Newbury St in Boston’s Back Bay. The school focused on educating students to be knowledgeable employees in the Boston area. Through the years, Newbury has undergone many changes: moving to Boylston St in 1968, becoming Newbury Junior College in 1971, moving to Brookline in 1982, becoming Newbury College in 1985, and officially becoming a baccalaureate college in 1994. However, Newbury remains dedicated to the same mission: providing a career-oriented education for students to be successful in the modern and ever-changing workforce.
As we look back on our history today and celebrate our accomplishments, we should be proud of our institution. Our alumni (more than 14,000) have made significant contributions to their fields and to their communities. The faculty and staff of Newbury work hard to ensure Newbury’s education continues to be relevant and mission-driven. Our students are engaged inside and outside of the classroom and continue to develop the necessary life-skills to be successful.
The College is moving forward strategically as it continues to renovate the campus including the nationally-recognized Student Success Center, the Chawla Fitness Center, the dining hall and the commuter lounge. New academic programs and athletic teams have been introduced and additional ones will be added in the coming year. We at Newbury are proud of the accomplishments we have made in the past 55 years and look forward to the future with optimism and hope of what it will bring to our College community.
Congratulations to Newbury's December 2016 GraduatesDec 21—This December, we celebrate the graduation of 21 Nighthawks and welcome them to the ranks of alumni. For many, they will be the first in their families to graduate from College and to receive their diploma in May. This is truly a remarkable accomplishment and one that should be celebrated by all. For others, they are continuing the legacy of being college graduates in their families. Regardless of being a trailblazer or a legacy, these 21 students have left their mark at Newbury and are ready for what lies ahead in the real world.
Newbury is a remarkable institution. More than 60% of our students are federal Pell Grant recipients and 74% of our students are first generation. These young women and men have overcome numerous obstacles to arrive at college and Newbury takes seriously its role as an opportunity institution. Our faculty are dedicated scholar-practitioners who blend theory and real-world experiences into the classroom. This approach, along with a required internship, prepares our students and graduates for the 21st century workplace. But, creating a stimulating and challenging academic environment is just one piece for many of our students. We also have to ensure that our students graduate without significant debt – the average student will graduate from Newbury with less than $35,000 in debt – less than the cost of a brand-new luxury car.
As a society, we need more of our young people graduating from college. Having more students graduate will only help to improve our society for all. Let’s celebrate the academic achievement of all of our students as we conclude the fall semester.
First Generation Students Struggling with the College Process? I've Been There:
Dec 14—Thirty years ago, I sat down to complete my college applications hoping that one of them would accept me. I applied to just three colleges and I was fortunate to be accepted to all three. My college application process was not a well-defined one nor did it included admissions consultants, guidance counselors or my parents. As a first generation college student, I wasn’t even sure if I was going about it the right way. Letters of recommendation, essays, and just trying to figure out the financial aid process was an exercise.
With help from my parents, we completed the financial aid process and submitted all of the necessary paperwork. I remember being anxious and unsure of what would happen next. Looking back on my financial aid award, I realize that I was the alphabet soup kid that we speak of today – I had every type of aid - scholarships, grants and yes, even loans.
Looking back on the process, I truly appreciate what our first generation students go through even before they arrive on-campus. That’s why, as President, I make certain that Newbury is focused on helping every student achieve their dreams of a college education. I make sure that no question is too small or goes unanswered. I remember being a student and sometimes those small questions seem overwhelming to someone who has never gone through the process. It is a good reminder and a humbling one that we are here to help our students be successful. It’s my way of paying it forward!
Newbury’s Admissions and Financial Aid teams are also happy to help with the process. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.
As Newbury Heads into Finals:
Dec 7—We are only a few days away from the end of fall semester. This time of year can be one of the busiest and stressful times of the semester: students are studying for finals, preparing projects, and writing papers. While this can be a difficult time in the semester, especially if you are working to raise a grade or finish a challenging class, remember to take a step back. Remember that the hard work will pay off and that passing finals is one step in the journey to a college degree.
Newbury wants all students to achieve their dreams of a college education, but this can sometimes be a difficult path. Which is why we have our national award-winning Student Success Center and many faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping students first pass classes and then ultimately leave Newbury with a degree.
Good luck to all of Newbury’s students during finals week. It may seem impossible now, but you can do it. Before you know it, you will go, degree in hand, into a career you love. I hope you all enjoy the winter holidays and have a long and relaxing winter break.
A Thank-You for Your Giving Tuesday Support
Dec 1—This week, Newbury took part in the global Giving Tuesday campaign to show the importance of generosity and giving back to nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities. Thank you to everyone who took the time to donate to Newbury and thank you to our Advancement Team for their hard work and dedication to the College. We not only raised more than last year’s Giving Tuesday, but broke records for the most donations made in a single day for such an event.
I am extremely proud of the members of the Newbury Community for their commitment to our mission. Every donation makes a difference in the lives of our students. Earning a college degree can be a transformative moment in someone’s life and Newbury provides a career-focused education grounded in the liberal arts aimed at preparing students for the ever-changing job market.
We not only want to help all students achieve their dreams of earning a degree, but also want their experiences while at Newbury to transcend academics. Every day, Newbury looks to improve the lives of its students, whether that be academically, athletically, or co-curricularly. Your support helps make our mission possible. Thank you again to all of our donors.
'It's On Us' at Newbury College
Nov 16—I am extremely proud to be a part of an institution so dedicated to standing against sexual assault. The work that the entire Newbury Community has done as part of the national “It’s On Us” campaign is incredible. I especially wish to acknowledge Newbury Speaks Out;, the ROPE Committee, Office of Student Involvement, First Year Experience, Office of Residence Life, Pride Club, Campus Activities Board, and Dr. Courtney Cole and her Capstone I class for playing a huge role in the “It’s On Us” Week of Action.
Newbury has come together to make a difference on our campus and in the world of higher education in general. It is estimated that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college. Newbury is committed to changing these numbers. Our students, faculty and staff took part in many events throughout this week, eager to make a difference. Various clubs, activities, and departments sponsored a “Pledge Day” to educate the community and encourage many to sign the “It’s On Us” pledge. They even created an inspirational poster with multicolored handprints to show that Newbury stands with victims of sexual assault. Furthermore, Dr. Courtney Cole’s Capstone I class produced a Public Service Announcement for the campaign.
The members of our community refuse to be bystanders to the issue of sexual assault. The “It’s On Us” Week of Action showed that we can come together and make a difference. I am proud to be a part of such an incredible and active group of students, faculty and staff.
President-Elect Donald Trump on Higher Education
Nov 9—This election marks a significant moment in our country: Donald Trump, a non-politician, is now President-Elect of the United States. He is now in a position to begin work on the topics discussed during his campaign—including Higher Education reform. What is President Trump’s plan? What does it mean for the future of higher education and the future of Newbury?
Trump has not released an official plan to tackle the rising cost of higher education and student debt; however, he has shared his views during the campaign. He plans to work at lowering the cost of tuition and make loan repayment less of a burden. In a speech in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 13, 2016, Trump proposed capping loan repayment at 12.5 percent of the borrower’s income and forgiving outstanding loans after 15 years if the borrower has been consistently repaying.
Trump aims to place responsibility on colleges and universities themselves to focus their spending on the students. He also expressed concern for graduates being unable to find jobs. Newbury is not waiting for President Trump to release an official plan. The College is already focusing on preparing students for careers and emphasizing experiential education. All students must complete an internship in their major course of study to give them an opportunity to make real-world connections and gain practical experience. We have a variety of degree options (3- or 4-year Bachelor’s degrees, classroom learning, online learning, evening classes, etc.) so students can find the path to a college degree that works best for them. The new 24-hour Student Success Center provides an environment for learning and studying and houses many resources to facilitate academic success. And beginning next semester, the College will move to a Monday to Thursday class schedule to give students more time to meet with professors, work, care for families, complete assignments, and juggle other responsibilities. Student success is a major priority for Newbury, in terms of both post-graduate employment and debt. Newbury students graduate with less than $30,000 of debt, which is lower than the national average for a private college.
It is my hope that Donald Trump’s presidency will only improve the efforts Newbury is already taking to ensure all students can afford a college degree and leave Newbury prepared for a career. Over the next four years, I hope more and more students can overcome barriers in Higher Education and find jobs in the fields they love.
Newbury Works to Alleviate Student Debt
Nov 2— There is no doubt that student debt is a crisis in this country. Right now, almost 70 percent of recent graduates left college with student loan debt. As a career-oriented institution, Newbury works hard to prepare students for the professional world. We know that having a college degree will open many doors in the future, but that completing a degree can be a big, and sometimes unattainable, investment.
Therefore, Newbury aims to provide as many financial aid and degree options as possible so that more students can graduate and more students can leave college without the heavy burden of student debt. Last week, I wrote about our Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree program which offers a more affordable alternative to the traditional four-year programs. In addition to this option, Newbury also offers a variety of merit scholarships ranging from $2,500 for exhibiting exceptional Newbury qualities to full tuition granted as the Trustee Scholarship.
Our student body is full of dedicated, inspiring students who I want to see succeed in all areas of their lives. Enrolling at Newbury is only the first step to a finding a career you love. Graduating, getting hired, and limiting your student debt are all steps that Newbury will help you achieve.
Find the Right Degree for the Right Price at Newbury
Oct 26— At Newbury, we aim to provide a variety of degree options to ensure as many students as possible can graduate with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. We do not want any student to be limited by time or money, which is why we offer a Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree program. This option allows students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in only three years for an affordable price—participants have a price-guarantee of $15,000 per academic year over the three years.
This low-cost program gives many students the opportunity to further their education and become prepared for a career that they love. Three-Year Degree participants are able to have every experience of a traditional four-year bachelor’s program—we do not want the reduced time at Newbury to limit students in any way. Participants are able to complete almost any of Newbury’s majors (with the exception of Computer Science, Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Culinary Management), will complete six semesters during the traditional fall and spring academic year (as well as two years of summer sessions), complete an internship, are able to add a minor, are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and/or athletics, and have access to all of Newbury’s student services from residential life to academic support.
Newbury is committed to providing the best student experiences and career preparation for all types of students. I encourage you to get more information on our low-cost Three-Year Degree program to see if this option is the right fit for your path to graduation.
Nighthawk Softball: An inspiration to all student-athletes
Oct 19— At the beginning of this month, the Newbury Nighthawk Softball team was announced as the leader in GPA in the nation. They outranked all NCAA and NAIA divisions for the NFCA Top 10 All-Academic Team Award. Firstly, a huge congratulations to the members of the 2015-2016 softball team who’s hard work and dedication made this achievement possible.
The team not only excelled academically over the past season, but athletically as well: the Nighthawks earned a spot in the 2016 NECC Championship Tournament for the fourth straight season (fifth time in program history).
I am incredibly proud of these players—their commitment to both academics and athletics is not an easy task and they persevered through the toughest games and toughest exams. Let these ladies serve as an inspiration to all student-athletes: with hard work and determination you can excel athletically and academically. Playing a varsity sport in college should not take away from your academic experience and accomplishments.
Nighthawk softball has epitomized the values of not only Newbury College, but of the whole NCAA. Their commitment to high academic and athletic standards truly shows what it means to Make It. Matter. at Newbury and beyond.
Welcome to the Office of the President blog
I am pleased to announce the official President’s blog for Newbury College. Stay up to date with the Newbury Community and our influence in the wider world of higher education. I hope you join me in the discussion of topics from the rising cost of higher education, to how we at Newbury Make It. Matter., to the amazing achievements of our students, clubs and teams.
Whether you are a current student, alumnus, prospective student, family member, staff, faculty or any other member of the collective Newbury Community, I encourage you to turn to this blog for a more personal view of our institution and higher education in general. I hope you all become active members in this discussion and am looking forward to your comments, questions and suggestions for this blog.
Get even more involved by following us on Twitter @NC_President.
I am excited about this new platform and what the future holds for Newbury.