More on Financial Aid for Students (and for a station!)

Some of the comments I’ve received on the blog and in person concern the limitations of Wesleyan’s initiative to reduce student indebtedness. Many wonder if we have created a financial aid paradigm that will result in entering classes of wealthy students and poor students (whose tuition is paid through grants). What happens, many ask, to middle-class families who can’t afford the tuition but don’t qualify for robust aid?This is a question we ask ourselves all the time. And the issue has led us to reduce student loan requirements for all who qualify for aid. A third of our aid recipients are from families earning more than $100k a year, and almost a quarter from families earning more than $125k annually. Like many of the most selective private colleges and universities in the United States, Wesleyan has chosen to focus its aid on need rather than to reallocate financial aid for merit scholarships. There is no reason to assume that merit scholarships would disproportionately aid students from middle-income households. In any case, can our school do more to identify real financial need among middle-class families? I bet we can, and that’s why we regularly review our financial aid allocations and formulae. In order to remain truly need blind, we must be sensitive to the variety of sacrifices families must make to send their students to Wesleyan. And our fundraising is focused on bringing more resources to support a creative use of grants to support middle-class and low-income families.Our recent initiative to reduce student indebtedness is, I realize, only one step in our efforts to enhance financial aid. With the generous support of the Wesleyan community, I am confident that we will be able to make further strides to reduce financial pressures on the significant percentage of our student body who need financial assistance to thrive here.————————————————————-Every morning I wake up to NPR on Wesleyan’s radio station, WESU (88.1 or In the afternoons there are engaging public affairs shows, with creative music programming in the evenings and on weekends. Now is the time to support the station’s pledge drive, and here’s how (courtesy of Jesse Sommer ’05):“WESU has really blossomed over the last three years. In that time, station members introduced Internet broadcasting, created a public affairs department, founded a nonprofit booster club, began publishing WESU Magazine, developed a regimented DJ training program, built new studios, initiated annual fundraisers, and fully upgraded the station’s technology. And WESU is still Wesleyan University’s largest student organization and most vibrant partnership with Middletown. The broadcast schedule now boasts a record 140 inhouse programs, including free-form music and local public affairs shows. Call our donation hotline at 860/687-7700, or donate online at

[tags] Financial aid, WESU, radio, WESU Magazine, pledge drive [/tags]

7 thoughts on “More on Financial Aid for Students (and for a station!)”

  1. President Roth, I just graduated this may after two years serving as station manager at WESU. They were two years of change and struggle for the station, an institution that I still very much love and feel a part of. An endorsement on the blog of the president of the university is a far cry from where I thought the station would be two years ago–so, thank you. Very much.

  2. Hi everyone,

    Also a big thanks to President Roth for his support of Community Radio WESU.
    As Public Affairs Director of this wonderful Station we need your help in raising 35,000 dollars.

    Our pledge drive is happening as I speak.

    As Public Affairs Director we have Democracy Now from Pacifica Radio every day Monday through Friday with Amy Goodman not to forget all the other great Independent Community and Public Affairs like Radioactive produced by the Hartford Independent Media,or Living Natural with Jim and Rosemary covering Alternative health,Energy and everything to do with natural living.
    Our Music also covers alot of ground with shows like Dead Air the best Grateful Dead Show anywhere .

    WESU FM is Non Commercial Listener Supported and affiliated with the Pacifica Radio Network.

    We are not controlled by Clear Channel or any major Company nor by Radio Consultants .

    WESU FM is Free Form and our on air staff can produce and air all kinds of great music ,Community Affairs ,Public Affairs and more.

    You our Listeners are the most important part of our Community without you we do not exist.
    So please wherever you are now call WESU FM today and make a pledge to supporting Listener Supported Community Radio at 1-860-685-7700 or again go to you can also pledge online.
    Well I love WESU and volunteer my time as the Public Affairs Director always looking and future Alternative shows to bring on the air.

    So Please make that pledge it will mean alot to WESU and help us attain our goals to also get a new transmitter so we can broadcast at 6,000 watts instead of 1500 watts with a transmitter that needs to be replaced after all these year.

    Thats all I wanted to say. WESU is your Community Radio Station.

  3. DJ-ing my radio show, “The Smokey Mountain Revue,” has been among my most rewarding experiences at Wesleyan. It’s a bluegrass radio show that one of my good friends and I have had for the past couple seasons. Every week we get together and spend a couple hours putting together material for it. Its been fun, and a great way to introduce myself to new music.

    This has only been possible because of the generous donations of WESU’s listeners and the funding it receives from Wesleyan. Thanks to everyone who has contributed, and those who will contribute during this year’s pledge drive.

  4. Thanks for the support President Roth. As the current president of WESU, I can certainly say that we need support from the Wesleyan community now as much as ever. WESU operates on about $100,000 a year; a reasonable budget when compared to the multi-million dollar budgets of corporate radio stations. And because we broadcast commercial-free, college and community programming, we really depend on our pledge drives to continue operating. In fact, about a third of our budget comes from pledges. So if you’re reading this, please consider taking a minute to donate to WESU. You can donate with a credit card on our website: and every little bit helps, whether it’s $10, $100, or $1000. You can do your part to help a valuable asset to Wesleyan keep on operating. Thank you.

    -Jeff Wong ’08
    President of WESU Middletown 88.1FM

  5. Visiting WESU was one of the first thing I did when I was hired as an Italian professor in 2005. I proposed to run an Italian show and, even though they already had one (the still unrivalled Franco’s Avanti Tutta), they were happy to let me train to eventually have one. My WESPARLA aired for four seasons, that is until I left Wesleyan. Yet, although phisically away from the Wesleyan Community , WESU has become such a part of my life that I could not think of a show of mine not aired by WESU (and that luckily happens with my CAffè Italia, that I produce at KSLU Hammond, in Louisiana, and that WESU kindly airs weekly in a privileged time spot) Serving underserved community has always been a priority for WESU. Franco’s Avanti tutta has been broadcast for more than fifteen years. WEASU has never been afraid of offering — at times — the best time spots for shows directed to a such audiences, such as (In the cases of Avanti Tutta, WESPARLA , and Caffè Italia) the Italian community of Middletown and beyond. and they also have a weekly french Carabean report and a two latin music shows. Isn’t it a valid reason — among many others — to support WESU? MY WESU, and yours.

    Francesco Fiumara
    Southeastern Louisiana University

  6. Thanks for the support President Roth. I was searching for this kind of a blog for months now. Actually lost the hope of finding one, but here i am Thanks for the great articles! Looking forward for a little read after lunch.I’ll Bookmark this page.Thanks again

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