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One-hundredfifteen years ofedor dfreedom
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXV, No. 90
02006 The Michigan Daily
new aid policy
Administrators claim new
policy to count noncustodial
parents in financial aid packages
is fairer to rest of students
By Christine Beamer
Daily Staff Reporter
As Michigan Student Assembly representatives
decry the University's use of a new financial aid form
that requires students to report the financial assets and
income of noncustodial parents, University adminis-
trators are defending the policy.
The controversy arose when the University imple-
mented a form, called the CSS/Profile, that will make
noncustodial parents of incoming freshmen responsi-
ble for contributing to their tuition, thus driving down
the students' financial aid packages.
While administrators concede that the form, called
the CSS/Profile, may cause financial aid complica-
tions for some students with absentee parents, they
argue that the form's in-depth assessment of a family's
financial circumstances should lead to more accurate,
and hopefully more generous, financial aid packages
Still, many students have expressed outrage at the
policy's threat to students with absentee parents.
Rese Fox, the Michigan Progressive Party's can-
didate for MSA president, has promised to fight the
form if elected.
"How can we expect so many noncustodial parents
to open their checkbooks for their children when they
haven't even opened up their lives for them?" Fox said
at a meeting of the University Board of Regents Feb.
Fox supports an MSA resolution urging adminis-
trators to eliminate the profile's noncustodial parent
questionnaire and to work with students to develop a
more equitable financial aid policy.
But administrators say the policy will only adverse-
ly affect a small fraction of students with noncusto-
According to Pam Fowler, director of the Office of
Financial Aid, about 10 percent of financial aid appli-
cants at the University have noncustodial parents.
Fowler said the financial aid office may make
individual exceptions for students whose parents are
estranged, unavailable or unable to contribute. She
said some exemptions have already been granted for
Fowler said students who have had no contact with
their noncustodial parent for a number of years may
also be granted exceptions to excuse their noncusto-
dial parent from contributing to tuition. "Our goal is
Both sides now
What some students have said about the
change in policy:
S "How can we expect so many non-cus-
todial ;parents to open their checkbooks
for their children when they haven't
even opened their lives for them?"
Rese Fox, Michigan Student Assembly
"We should be encouraging stu-
dents of single parents to succeed."
Kenneth Baker, Michigan Student Assembly
What some administrators have said:
"If their parent is alive and well and
working every day, (the student) will have
to find some other means to find what
they need to stay here."
Pam Fowler, financial aid director
"If Michigan is going to compete
with other colleges on several lev-
els, don't you think we would want
to compete in terms of our ability to
provide financial aid to our students?"
Lester Monts, senior vice provost for aca-
not to make this extremely difficult for students," she
In order to obtain such an exemption, students
would have to make a financial aid appeal and pro-
vide documentation that provided evidence of their
Fowler would not outline specific ways to provide
that documentation because she said each situation is
decided on a case-by-case basis.
"Our financial aid staff are sensitive to the finan-
cial realities unique to each and every one of our stu-
dents, and will carry out the policy on an individual
basis," University President1Mary Sue Coleman said
in an e-mail interview.
But students continue to campaign against the
LSA freshman Kenneth Baker, who is running for
an MSA representative seat as an independent candi-
See AID, page 7
As part of a promotion for MUSKET's production of "Urinetown," School of Music senior Andy Papas protests on the Diag
for his "freedom to pee" yesterday. The play, which is about a town suffering from a 20-year drought, is scheduled for
March 17 to 19 at the Power Center for the Performing Arts.
AP credit still valuable at 'U'
Other schools, including
Ivies, struggle with how well
AP courses prepare students
By Kelly Fraser
Daily Staff Reporter
The Ivy League usually sets the bar for
academic standards in higher education.
But several University programs appear to
be stepping off the ivy-lined path when it
comes to accepting Advanced Placement
scores for credit.
A recent study by researchers at Harvard
University and the University of Virginia
found high AP scores do not ensure success
in the counterpart subject in college.
This report, combined with other worries
from faculty about the equivalence of the
programs, have prompted many universities
to reconsider the weight they give to AP
credit, especially at Ivy League schools.
Most University departments, though, are
not among them.
The University has no campus-wide poli-
cy for accepting AP credit.
Like most universities, it allows each
school and relevant department to set its
own policy regarding AP credit.
Most departments review AP standards
at least every few years.
According to College Board spokeswom-
an Jennifer Topiel, the board, whichadmin-
isters AP tests, disputes the findings.
Unlike recently published findings, the
majority of research on AP students' per-
formance in college indicates that they
perform as well as, if not better than, their
peers who took the equivalent college class-
Rapid growth of the AP program in recent
years has prompted the board to examine
course quality across the United States.
The board is currently conducting an
audit of 15,000 high schools with AP pro-
grams to ensure courses are certified and
up to national guidelines, Topiel said.
Most of the quality concern is directed at
AP math and science programs.
At the University, the biology and chem-
istry departments accept scores of three or
above for some form of credit in introduc-
The College of Engineering maintains
higher standards for chemistry and calculus
exams than LSA does because of their cen-
trality to the field, said Mercedes Barcia,
director of engineering's advising center.
See AP CREDIT, page 7
How many credits the AP chem-
istry exam Is worth at different
University of Michigan (LSA):
Score of 3: 5 credits (with placement
test for Chem 210)
Score of 4 or above: 5 credits (no
University of Michigan (Engin):
4: 3 credits
5: 5 credits
Ohio State University:
3: 5 credits
4 or above: 10 credits
5: 4 credits
5: 5 credits
will take over
the first time
Faculty get firost
look at new provost,
Past PM talks on
nation in its transition
fn nn- f- c-v c ~ f-te
Armenian prime minister, said
Armenia now needs to go through
a second wave of political and
economic reforms to emerge as a
Teresa Sullivan, who
will take over as provost for
interim Ned Gramlich in
June, impresses committee
Rv Nail Tamba
Sullivan, who is moving near campus per-
manently in June, said she isn't plotting any
"revolutionary plans" for when she takes over
as provost, and wants to take some time this
fall to learn about the University.
She was dressed in a black coat and dark
gray cotton shirt, with a brushed metal pendant
the size of a silver dollar around her neck.
f ; f . -