November, 2018

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The ways students pay for college is as unique as their college experiences. Students often have several different ways they make paying for college work, and Monique Rondeau, a junior at St. Olaf College, is no different.

Rondeau grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota and always knew she wanted to go to college. Rondeau was the first person in her family to go to college and became interested in St. Olaf after researching liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. “I knew I wanted to go to a small liberal arts college,” Rondeau said. “We did some campus tours and after the St. Olaf tour I knew it was going to be a good fit.”

When Rondeau was looking at colleges, affordability was certainly a major consideration, but it wasn’t the only factor. “I looked at a couple other liberal arts colleges that I knew I could get a great education at, and they all gave me similar financial aid packages. I felt like I was going to be the most successful at St. Olaf,” she said.

Rondeau has received a diverse financial aid package all three years she’s been at St. Olaf. She was awarded a Minnesota State Grant, which is need-based, and she also received an institutional scholarship and work study. She was awarded an outside scholarship and has taken out a student loan.

“My parents match ever dollar I contribute to my education,” Rondeau said. “I’m very grateful for the support of my parents and the fact that I’m paying some of my own money makes me want to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

Rondeau is a double major in psychology and economics and also keeps busy on campus. She is a captain for the women’s rugby team, is a leader of the Women in Business Club and works with young people at a church in Northfield.

Rondeau has a unique perspective on financial aid — her work-study job is in the financial aid office at St. Olaf. “I can relate to students who are applying for financial aid, and I think because just a couple years ago I was new to it I can help students,” Rondeau said. “There’s a lot that goes into financial aid and things can change every year. The financial aid office is here to help students make it work and they helped me make it work.”

“When students are looking at colleges they should know that they most likely will not be paying full tuition,” she said. “If you and your family need a little help paying for college liberal arts schools can offer it.”

By Tom Lancaster
 

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