Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 20, 1998

ISU seeks to help students with currency woes

by Diana Pounds

More than 400 international students stopped by Beardshear Hall last week to talk about the effect on their finances of the recent currency devaluations in their home countries.

"We're analyzing the data from those interviews and will make some recommendations on policies intended to help as many students as we can," said Dennis Peterson, director of the Office of International Students and Scholars.

A variety of representatives from various Iowa State offices and colleges were on hand during the interviews to help students assess their financial options, Peterson said.

A financial option already offered to the 800 students from Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand is to extend the payment date for spring 1998 tuition. Officials recently offered students the option of paying half their spring tuition in June and the remainder in August.

Peterson said 195 students signed financial repayment agreements to take this option.

During the interviews, students also received information about financial aid, and on- and off-campus jobs.

The Ames Chamber of Commerce is working with the Student Employment Center to identify additional job prospects in the Ames area. David Maahs, executive director of the chamber, said a mailing is planned within a few weeks to chamber members to identify their hiring needs. Their responses will be matched with the job needs of the students through the Student Employment Center.

"We're hopeful that the currency situations in the Asian countries will improve, easing the financial strain on our students," Peterson said. "However, it's apparent, and heartbreaking, that some students simply will not be able to continue to finance their educations."

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