Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.61
Liaison Kate Ullman
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Northland College
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.95 / 4.00 Scott Grinnell
Professor of Physics
Academic
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

We offer an extensive scholarship program available to all students, with generous need-based financial aid coming after that. While this increases our discount rate, we remain committed to providing access to higher education for all people regardless of financial situation (this is one of the founding values of the institution).

All students are considered for merit scholarships and need-based aid. This year, we also instituted a test optional policy for admission and scholarship decisions, which has been shown to benefit low-income students.

Additionally, we are partnering with College Possible, a community-based organization working with low-income students, in six major cities throughout the United States. This partnership helps provide a pipeline for low-income students and an on-campus support system to ensure success after they arrive. This program includes meeting full need for Wisconsin students, and near-full need for non-Wisconsin students. Currently, the President is pursuing a fundraising initiative to provide scholarships, travel funds, opportunities for the student’s families to visit campus, etc


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

Councilors meet with the faculty and staff to raise awareness of particular student needs. This not only includes students of low-income backgrounds, but also a variety of other special needs. Furthermore, faculty are requested to provide early intervention alerts to the Student Services Center so that councilors are able to assist students before problems become significant. Faculty are also informed of special needs situations at In-Service events.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

Through the "College Possible" program, Northland College identifies, recruits, and works closely with each year's cohort of new students. After identifying prospective low-income students, a Northland College representative ("distance coach") remains in contact with the students until they arrive on campus. At that point, the College's Diversity Coordinator works with the students to assess their academic and social progress.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Currently, the College is focusing most heavily on our College Possible partnership in terms of scholarship opportunities explicitly for low-income students. The scholarship provides $25,000 of aid per year per student. For 2017, the low-income scholarship was awarded to 61 students.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Our primary focus has been with College Possible students and the local Native American tribes. For several years, we have fully funded bus trip visits, usually from Milwaukee and Minneapolis, hosting students overnight in an area hotel to ensure they could connect with the campus. While here, the students meet with the President, faculty members, admissions, and with current Northland College students. The College provides the College Possible students with information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

The Indigenous Cultures Center sends representatives to the local tribes, hosts events to encourage participation and awareness of native peoples, and provides scholarships.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

Northland's comprehensive scholarship program includes a four-year-no-increase guarantee to assist in planning for educational expenses.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

For non-traditional and transfer students, the College has admissions policies that ease the onboarding process for adult students to transfer to the institution. Non-traditional freshman students go through our normal admissions process, which is deliberately personal and intentional. Once on campus, our policies exempt non-traditional students from housing or meal plans that can be burdensome for them.

Because of its small size, the College does not currently have evening, weekend, or online classes, which could also provide support for non-traditional students.


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Northland College itself does not sponsor an on-site child care facility. However, there is a child care facility within walking distance from the College that is frequently used by Northland faculty and staff. Northland does not directly provide financial support for child care.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

As a small institution, Northland College is highly flexible and able to accommodate special scheduling, supplemental coursework, one-on-one tutoring, independent study courses, arranged courses, and other needs common of non-traditional students.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
34

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
59

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
85

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
17

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.