Lauren Weldon Notre Dame International (NDI) is implementing a new policy beginning in the fall 2016 semester, under which the University will no longer pay airfare for students studying abroad during a semester. This change allows more students to study abroad.Tom Guinan, associate vice president for administrative operations for Notre Dame International, said this change was made in an attempt to increase acceptance rates for students applying to study abroad.“86 percent of applicants got offered acceptances into the program this year, and we were down, you can see from just two years ago, it was closer to 70 percent, which is terrible,” Guinan said. “For kids who are qualified and able to go, we did not want to turn away 30 percent of the students … Our goal is to have 90 percent or more acceptance, with the limitations being just capacity in a program.”Junior Frank Wamsley, who, along with Guinan, gave a presentation about this change to the student senate in November, said the lower acceptance rates were due to NDI’s budget not being increased in the past several years while the cost of sending students abroad has risen.“The amount of money that Notre Dame International gets to send students abroad has stayed the same, however, the costs for sending students abroad … have gone up over the years, and as a result, they’ve had to decline more people in the application process,” Wansley said. “[Guinan] and his team at NDI decided that the one thing that they could foresee cutting out and having the least amount of impact was the cost of the overseas flights.”Cutting airfare not only made sense in comparison to other expenses covered by the University, Guinan said, but it also would fit more with the policies of other schools throughout the country.“We found that really there are no other schools that actually fund airfare the way we had in the past, and I think it was something that we had been interested in looking at,” he said. “When we were looking at ways to have more resources to send students abroad, there were three things that we considered … One was tuition that we pay to the school, one was lodging and one was airfare.”Guinan also said the possible ramifications of this policy for students who may not be able to afford overseas flights were carefully considered before making a final decision.“Just based on the fact that the summer programs are so popular and the students pay airfare for summer programs, we said let’s see if there’s a way that we can make sure the students who are on financial aid aren’t cut out of it because of the airfare component,” he said. “As long as we can assure that the financial aid’s available to the students, we think we should be able to kind of have a win-win situation where the cost of the plane ticket will actually be able to send 35 to 40 more students abroad a year.”While he understands and supports NDI’s decision now, Wamsley said he wishes the administration had been clearer with students about the decision-making process.“I think something that’s lacking in the administration’s decision-making is how they’re going to relay news and information that pertains to students to the students,” he said. “Whether it’s holding a town hall meeting to explain big changes that apply to students or using the student senate and Hall Presidents’ Council…I think that the administration ought to find more ways to convey the reasons for the things they do with the student body.”Sophomore Meghan Santella, who will be studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin during next fall said she would have appreciated more of an explanation for the change.“We got an email over the summer, I think, and then I didn’t really think too much about it, but I didn’t understand why they were doing it,” Santella said. “I feel like if [NDI] explained [the reasoning], that would’ve been more beneficial for them.”Santella said despite the change, having to pay for the airfare didn’t affect her decision to study abroad.“I wasn’t going to not do it because of [the airfare],” she said. “Notre Dame’s so good to me for financial aid, just in general, that honestly, if they won’t pay airfare, it’s not a big deal, they’re already doing so much for me.”Guinan emphasized his hope that acceptance levels won’t be affected by any extra costs and students will seek help, if necessary.“I’m excited that we were able to send out so many acceptances, and I hope that the students are excited, as well,” he said. “The acceptances or the decisions from the students are actually due on Monday, and [we] expect that we’ll see 800 plus acceptances or that most of the students will accept.”Tags: airfare, NDI, Notre Dame, Notre Dame International, study abroad
Jared Berggren has an average of 10.6 points per game with a season total of 234 points, second on the Badgers, behind offensive star Jordan Taylor.[/media-credit]Where the Wisconsin men’s basketball team once peered up from near the bottom of the Big Ten standings, it now finds itself looking down on most of its peers after just three weeks’ time.The Badgers (17-5 overall) went from 1-3 in conference play to a 6-3 mark that leaves them tied for third place with Michigan and just one game outside first-place Ohio State.No. 20 Wisconsin has had the luxury of four full days of rest after pulling off a well-played 57-50 upset over then-No. 16 Indiana at the Kohl Center last Thursday.Mix that with a 3-1 conference road record, and don’t be surprised if you find a little spring in the step of Badger players as they prepare to meet with Penn State (10-12, 2-7) Tuesday.“We’re sitting pretty good,” guard Josh Gasser said. “We had a couple days off after the big win to kind of reenergize ourselves, rest our bodies a little bit.“We got a lot of time to regroup and stuff, and we know we have a big stretch coming up with traveling to Penn State and Ohio State later in the week. We just like where we’re at right now.”The Nittany Lions may find themselves at the very bottom of the Big Ten standings, but in what may be the nation’s deepest conference, a loss can emerge from anywhere. Both of Penn State’s two victories in the league came against teams with winning records, while one of them – Illinois – has consistently been ranked.Fans of either team may cringe at the thought of UW and PSU matching up again after the last time they met – in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament last year, the two teams battled it out in a game where the final tally read more like a halftime score.Penn State shot 33.3 percent from the field while Wisconsin managed 29.4 in a 36-34 decision.But much has changed for PSU’s men’s basketball team since. The Nittany Lions introduced a new head coach, Patrick Chambers, in the offseason and waved goodbye to four senior starters.The Badgers, meanwhile, also graduated three starters themselves.“They have pretty much a completely different team; they had a lot of seniors last year so they have a lot new faces now. We have some new faces as well,” center Jared Berggren said.But the lone PSU starting returnee just happens to be one of the Big Ten’s most impressive guards. Junior Tim Frazier – at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds – is second in the conference with 19 points per game in league play and first with 5.1 assists.His numbers have made quite a leap from last year, when he started 33 games and averaged 6.3 points per game.UW guard Jordan Taylor and associate head coach Greg Gard both said one reason for Frazier’s leap in production has to do with the fact that last year he was a sophomore starting along with four seniors, and the burden of scoring was placed more heavily on his teammates.With so much experience leaving, Gard believes that, in a way, Frazier had no choice but to step in and take charge. Either way, Gard praised Frazier’s development and nearly called him the conference’s most improved player.“They lost a lot, so [Frazier] had to take a jump or he has to stand out because he’s one of the few returning,” Gard said. “But … I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league that’s made the jump he has in what he’s added to his game.“He’s made himself a better shooter. Very similar to Jordan, when he came in, his shooting was not – you know, you’d like to have him shoot it from out there – and he was just a driver, just a penetrator. Now he’s added [shooting] to his game.”In all likelihood, it will be Gasser who will be assigned to defend Frazier Tuesday, as he did last season as well.But Gasser has already had success against some of the Big Ten’s best. More recently, against Illinois Jan. 22, he was primarily responsible for Brandon Paul, now currently the only person averaging more points per game (20) in Big Ten games than Frazier.Paul had a forgetful game, scoring 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting.But even last year, as a sophomore that didn’t pose much of a scoring threat, Frazier made so much of an impression on Gasser that he now calls the PSU guard one of the three toughest foes he’s ever had to defend.“He’s up there, top three for sure,” he said.