My beat for the course Broadcast Beat Reporting is “Student Debt and Consumer”, and I will mainly focus on the financial side of things here at Kent State as far as students go. I will look into topics such as financial aid, overall debt numbers, as well as affording life away from campus.
My Key Decision Maker is Greg Jarvie, the Vice President of College Enrollment and Student Affairs at Kent State University. He oversees day-to-day operations of everything from Admissions and Financial Aid, all the way to the University Health services.
Although he doesn’t always work directly with each division, he is essentially in charge. Each division has their own department full of staff and a director, who ultimately report to Jarvie. He also directed me to the Director of Financial Aid, Mark Evans, who I have been in contact with.
A major part of my beat, and the most obvious, is financial aid on campus. Jarvie said it is something that most students need to be successful, and that it is all regulated by the government.
A story that I could get from this topic is the default rate is at an unusually high number. There is a problem among the nation with college students basically not paying back their financial aid, and just walking away with it. Combined, at Kent State campuses are at 14.1 % default rate. If that number hits 15%, the Federal Government, more specifically the Board of Education, would investigate.
Another relevant story that is taking the country by storm is President Obama’s plan to have community college free for all hard working students. That is definitely something I could connect back here to Kent State. There is a good chance that Kent State gets a certain number of community college transfers every year, so the school may lose students.
Starting this summer, the most popular street in Kent, Summit, will begin construction for new roads and round-a-bout system. This will certainly cost a lot of money, and I’d like to see where that money is coming from that the school uses.
Vice President Jarvie also told me that there are plans to lower book costs, and that they have been in contact with other bookmakers in order for that to happen.
Some problems I may run into are finding interesting stories outside of the “money” topic, whether it be debt or financial aid. Right now, I have plans to look into the difference of living on campus versus off, in regards to paying for it.
Overall, I am happy with my Key Decision Maker and all of the information I have gathered this week on “Student Debt and Consumer” here on the Kent State campus. I also have several people to contact throughout the semester, including Greg Jarvie, his assistant Pat Dennison, and Mark Evans.