Recently, the admissions office decided to make financial cuts to the Black, Latino and Asian Pacific Islander (API) prospective students’ overnight programs. These overnight programs offer prospective students an opportunity to spend time at LMU and get to know the community.
Matthew Fissinger, the assistant vice provost for admissions, weighed in on the recent cuts. He believes that what is happening is not really a budget cut, but rather working within the funds that the University has given the admission department. Fissinger emphasized that the experience and number of students able to attend hasn’t changed. The only changes made have been to elements such as catering, giveaways and t-shirts.
“This was not a decision that reflected dissatisfaction or any unhappiness with the overnight program,” said Fissinger.
Abby Manullang, a freshman communication studies major, who has hosted two students for the API overnight, spoke on issues she saw this year within the overnight program.
“There were little various budget cuts we had to do like … t-shirts and other stuff like that,” said Manullang.
She is worried about future budget cuts, because many students choose to come to LMU based on their overnight experience. “I think this is a super important event … if they did continue to cut funding from the admissions standpoint, that [would be bad],” said Manullang.
Fissinger stated that other admissions initiatives, such as Open House, were bigger this year than they have been in the past, and took up more of the budget. “We’re just being very extra careful to try to make sure that at the [end of the fiscal year], we come in within the budget that the University has allocated to us,” said Fissinger.
Maddie Chang, a prospective student, spoke on the issue. “When [I] think of LMU, I personally think of rich white kids,” said Chang. She explained how important these overnights are for minority students and making them feel included as a community and family at the University.
“The event was structured in a way where you’re never alone doing nothing. You’re always interacting with new people, which is great. You feel so welcome because [you’re together with] a group of people that [are] in the same boat as you,” said Erin Barron, a prospective student on the overnight.