Students of the Northern Marianas College have agreed to personally receive their checks for the local educational assistance grant but are opposing the proposal on the full-time credit requirement.
In a forum held yesterday at NMC’s Student Center, some 30 recipients discussed these issues with Special Adviser for Education Dan Nielsen.
According to Shirley Santos, president of the Associated Students of NMC, close to 50 students returned the survey-questionnaire conducted last week.
Based on their answers, they want to receive the EAP checks and disagreed with a number of proposals like the full-time credit requirement and their seeking for federal educational grants prior to the local funding.
Alexis Cosack, NMC’s representative to the First Youth Congress, told Nielsen that they also need money to purchase books. She added that instead of the full-time credit requirement, students with D and F grades should be required to pay for the cost of such failing courses.
Nielsen told students that a new set of policies is needed to fairly distribute the meager resources for the spring semester.
He said Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio is set to sign into law the cap of $15,000 a year for the Full Scholarship. From this cap, the government anticipates to save some $300,000 which will be used to pay the EAP for spring.
The government expects a deficit on the EAP funding for spring since NMC received $570,000 to cover the fall semester.
“Given those numbers, we drafted certain policies that will allow fair distribution,” he asked students.
“Talking about the issue of fairness, students in the mainland are required to carry a full load,” he reminded the on-island recipients.
However, he asked NMC officials to define the acceptable credit requirement to allow working students, who are taking the minimum load, avail of EAP.
Nielsen also reminded students that EAP is suspended for summer. While a new set of laws emphasizing educational loan program will be introduced next school year.