No Spring Semester for 400 Syracuse Students?

By Pam Robinson

Dec 5, 2008 12:39pm

ABC News On Campus reporter Matt Gelb blogs: Syracuse University  launched an emergency drive Thursday  to raise an additional $2 million by Jan. 31 to help students deal with the rising costs of attending college. According to the university, about 400 students will not be able to return to Syracuse for the spring semester without more financial aid. On average, those students will need an additional $5,000. “The global financial crisis has raised real barriers in the lives of many of our students and their families, and we will face the challenge resolutely, as we always have,” Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor said in a press release. “The SU community will respond — again.” The 45-day fundraising drive, called Syracuse Responds, will begin with direct mailings and e-mails to alumni and donors. The university also launched a Web site to promote the initiative. The university said it has granted financial aid appeals for 1,318 students,  202 more students than it did last year. Much like other universities across the nation, Syracuse has seen its endowment decrease significantly. In the past three months, SU’s endowment has shrunk by $170 million. Last week, Cantor announced the school would reduce central administrative costs by $8 million this year and $11 million next year. Syracuse launched a billion-dollar campaign for fundraising  Nov. 2, 2007. At its launch, the school had raised $509 million. In the past 13 months, SU has raised another $99 million. For now, though, the priority is on the extra $2 million needed for immediate student support. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the immediate outpouring of support we’ve seen from alumni, parents, faculty and friends of the University who have understood very quickly and comprehensively the urgency of this challenge,” said Brian Sischo, associate vice president, in the press release. "At the same time, however, it’s going to require significant effort from everyone to reach this fundraising goal in such a tight timeframe.”

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