Easing the Financial Burden on Students
Professor David Riccio, Ph.D., has been a part of the fabric of Kent State University for 47 years, so he knows better than most how drastically the financial landscape has changed for students who are trying to obtain a degree.
Riccio, a professor in the Department of Psychology, has been publishing papers, writing books and conducting research longer than most of his students (and their parents) have been alive. He has been honored with both the Kent State University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award and the university’s Distinguished Scholar Award. He was on campus during the events that took place on May 4, 1970. And he has seen state aid to the university dwindle to a trickle.
“State support has decreased atrociously,” says Riccio, “Students desperately need help. Anything that eases that burden is important.” He continues, “I see too many of them who are struggling to get to class because maybe they’re a single parent, they’re working — I don’t know how they do it. It’s hard as a faculty member to know each student’s situation. When I ask if they’re OK, they say their child was up at 2 a.m. So I can understand why they fell asleep in class.”
Dr. Riccio was lucky enough to attend private schools himself (Middlebury College for undergraduate and Princeton for his doctorate). “My father had to work his way through school and felt that he had missed a lot of things, so he made sure that I didn’t have to,” says Riccio. “Education is so important to people, we should make it as inexpensive as possible — which the state isn’t doing — so it falls to the university and donor support.”