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The NOAH program: Change in tuition coverage

Tatiana M. BrownStaff WRiter The New Opportunities At Hofstra (NOAH) program, known for helping overlooked students with University payments, has announced that its coverage of tuition will drop by $5,000 per student. NOAH was initiated in 1964 as an admissions and developmental program designed to assist nontraditional students whose educational experience and economic status did not provide them with the opportunity to attend Hofstra. “I’ve realized the University is facing financial burden, but the money they put forth develops student leaders. NOAH adds diversity to the campus,” said sophomore Oscar Espinal, a member of HOLA and La Unida Latina. Espinal also said that the notification about the increase in tuition was given to NOAH participants in August, only shortly before the start of the school year. Throughout their academic careers, NOAH students are supported by any means necessary, including tutoring, housing and partial tuition. Students are eligible for the program only if they must be inadmissible to Hofstra by regular standards, can demonstrate that their high school experience was a disadvantage to their potential and essentially stand out as a talented student. “NOAH has a high retention and graduation rate because of the core values of the program,” said freshman Darnell Lee. “Anyone who is in NOAH appreciates this opportunity and the program close to his or her heart.” Lee appreciates the prestigious opportunities given to him by the NOAH program, including the five-week Pre-Freshman Summer Academy, which allows students to live on campus and earn up to six credits. Students also attend career panels and multicultural educational programs. The NOAH program eases the students’ transition from high school to college. After the Summer Academy, students are required to enroll in the NOAH Learning Community, where NOAH students taken essential courses in writing, mathematics and the NOAH Scholars Seminar as a group. The first year is defined as a Pre-Freshman year, during which the NOAH student is not technically a full student of Hofstra. By default it takes longer for NOAH students to graduate “[Although the program takes time] it’s very helpful because the first year teaches us about doing schoolwork without distraction,” Lee said. Freshman Shannon Alomar, vice president of the Hofstra chapter of NAACP, a member of the Collegiate Women of Color and a member of the Hofstra’s Association of Black Journalists, said that NOAH gave her confidence in academics and in her social life. “[In] high school I was a shy girl who could have never imagined being a student leader at an established college,” Alomar said. However, some students may not be able to afford the newly additional $5,000 in tuition. “No direct answer has been given to why the increase was needed,” Espinal said. Without the chances the NOAH program provides, future students may miss their best chance to attend college.

Additional reporting by Davetta Belton.

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