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Top Syracuse University applicants formulate ideas on reducing debt, increasing savings
Top Syracuse University applicants formulate ideas on reducing debt, increasing savingsApril 17, 2002Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
One hundred of SU’s best prospective freshmen will present their ideas on reducing personal debt and increasing personal savings at the 57th annual Citizenship Education conference sponsored by the Maxwell School’s Public Affairs Program. The participants have applied and been accepted for the Fall 2002 semester. The top 25 students in the competition will win a total of $224,000 in scholarships.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 27. Morning sessions will take place in Maxwell and Eggers halls. The participants then move to Goldstein Auditorium in the Schine Student Center for a luncheon and awards ceremony.
The proposals range from government subsidies to education programs. Some of the other ideas include:
* giving government seed money to individuals in the form of a direct government contribution to open accounts and federal matching grants adjusted for income;
* permitting a tax-free personal savings account of up to $2,000 per year for New York state residents whose income is less than 50 percent of the median for the state. The savings could be used for buying a first home, paying for education or starting a business;
* requiring college seminars on credit;
* subsidizing credit counseling programs; and
* outlawing credit card solicitations on campus.
The papers, which are graded prior to the conference, must recommend a government action that the students think should be considered. The proposed public policy can be targeted at the local, state, federal or international levels and can require local, state or federal action. Each paper contains an overview of the student’s stand on the issue; an explanation of the problems addressed and the proposed solution; a description of financial, legislative and administrative requirements the policy must meet; and a plan for evaluating the costs and benefits of the policy.
Half of each student’s score is based on the written analysis of the policy issue.
The remainder is determined by the student’s ability to persuade his or her peers to support their proposed public policy. Students present their proposals to small peer groups, who discuss and rate the presentations.
“The students’ leadership skills are measured by the degree to which their peers see them as leaders,” says William D. Coplin, professor of public affairs in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and organizer of the event. “They need to do whatever it takes to impress their peers-whether it be with their knowledge, leadership style or ability to communicate.”
Participants complete an evaluation form judging the leadership qualities and public policy analysis capabilities of the other members of the group. This evaluation determines the student’s score for the exercise.
The peer score is then combined with the score the students receive on their papers. The student with the highest score will be awarded an annual scholarship of $5,000. The second-highest scorer will receive a $4,000 annual scholarship, and the third-highest scorer will receive a $3,000 annual scholarship. The next 22 highest scorers will win $2,000 annual scholarships.
The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, founded in 1924, is the premier academic institution in the United States committed to civic leadership and careers in public and international affairs. It is home to Syracuse University’s graduate social science departments and to numerous nationally recognized multidisciplinary programs in public policy and finance, international studies, and conflict resolution. Maxwell’s graduate program in public administration – the first of its kind – is consistently ranked the best in the nation.