Phoenix College has announced it will be closing down its student union, ending its student life insurance policy.
The university says it is cancelling the policy in response to the financial crisis that hit the college during the Great Recession.
“This has been a challenging time for our community and I am deeply disappointed in the decision, which will result in a loss of income for our students and faculty,” says Phoenix College President Robert DeSimone.
The move comes a day after the university announced it would be offering a two-year pay cut for its staff, but the decision has not been fully implemented yet. “
Phoenix College will continue as a full-service university for students of all ages, regardless of financial circumstances.”
The move comes a day after the university announced it would be offering a two-year pay cut for its staff, but the decision has not been fully implemented yet.
The news comes as the university grapples with rising student debt and financial stress, with its finances already under pressure.
Students and staff have been hit hardest by the economic downturn, with the average debt-to-income ratio among its full-time student body soaring to nearly 100 per cent.
Phoenix College’s student life policy, which began in 2014, covered both medical and non-medical expenses, and covered costs such as tuition and room and board.
Phoenix students say the policy was intended to keep them in the fold during tough times.
“The policy was meant to help students stay in school, keep their jobs, and help them make ends meet,” says Julie Schafer, the student affairs manager at Phoenix.
We’re hoping this will help them keep their head above water and stay in the university and the community.” “
I’ve been through a difficult time with the loss of my family, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for the students.
We’re hoping this will help them keep their head above water and stay in the university and the community.”
Students are also facing a rise in their debt, with their average debt per student rising to $33,400 last year.
Student financial assistance has also been slashed.
“It is hard to comprehend how the college system could allow the debt burden to rise and then decide to slash financial assistance,” says Schafer.
“Students who are struggling with debt should be able to receive support in the form of financial assistance.
The college administration needs to come clean and say that they’re doing this in the best interest of students and students should not be treated like a disposable resource.”
A statement from the university reads: Phoenix College is in the process of restructuring its student-life policy to provide a more sustainable model and to reduce financial costs to the institution.
This restructuring is currently underway.
We will continue working with the Phoenix College administration to make the necessary changes.
Phoenix will continue the work of improving its financial health, including making a series of strategic investments that will allow Phoenix College to grow, invest and provide for students and the wider community.
“As a public institution, we can’t allow students to be left behind when we have to address this crisis,” says DeSimones.
“Our students have the power to shape our future, and they deserve to know that we will do what’s best for them.”
A full list of the policies that will be cancelled will be announced later this week.