The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Dependent scholarship well deserved

When I tell people I receive free tuition, many look at me with disdain. “That’s not fair!” they say, obviously without thinking about the big picture. Northern’s Dependent Children Tuition Scholarship grants free tuition to the sons, step-sons, daughters, step-daughters or legally adopted children of university employees. Human resources estimated that for the Fall 2008 and Winter 2009 semesters, 428 NMU students used this scholarship.

According to Seton Hall University’s website, a college in New York that also offers the benefit, there are 586 colleges and universities in the United States participating in the program. It’s considered a way to “pay back” faculty and staff for all they contribute to the universities.

My father is employed by NMU as a maintenance worker at the P.E.I.F building. There have been numerous occasions where I am just falling asleep after an all-nighter as he is getting up for work at 4 a.m. He works long hours every week, in addition to some weekends and the holidays. After sporting events he’s part of the crew who keeps the P.E.I.F, Berry Events Center or Superior Dome intact when students have all but forgotten the event ever happened. In my opinion, he and his co-workers are a crucial part of what keeps NMU running smoothly.

And so are the secretaries, officers, assistants, managers and other behind the scenes people you rarely get to see. Many of these positions make not much more than average annual income, which, according to the United States Census Bureau, is currently $28,310 in Michigan. While this is obviously an adequate amount; I believe it is little payment for all they do, often with no thanks from the students they help.

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Children of both full time and part-time faculty are also given this benefit. According to, the average salary of a full-time professor at NMU is $60,858. While that is obviously above the number I previously mentioned, they also deal with a lot of outside pressures. College students aren’t always the easiest crowd to influence; our professors, full or part-time, are subject to many of our complaints while coping with the skipping class tendencies of some and the “I’m never going to read the material” habits of others. They also continually work towards shared governance within the university, as well as securing their job positions here at NMU. Without these people and their continued dedication to their jobs, a student’s time here would be worthless.

Now on to my side of things. The fact that I receive this benefit does not mean I completely free load my way through college. I still spend close to $400 at the bookstore each semester, and pay all the same fees that are inserted into your tuition. I also do without the cushion of student loans, which puts me in a better future position than the 18 percent of college students who, according to the College Board, are $19,300 to $22,700 in debt after they graduate. However, it’s not easy for me. I work two jobs to pay for my expenses, plus school full time, which weighs on both my sanity and my social life. Also, if I do not graduate in four years, my dad could be taxed up to $3,252 on the tuition I don’t even pay. So while I do receive this advantage, I still work hard for my education. In fact, I feel pressure to work even harder because of the tuition scholarship – I feel I owe it to not only my dad, but the people who allow me this benefit.

Northern’s Dependent Children Tuition Scholarship is a way of giving back to the people who help make this university a quality learning institution. They work endlessly to ensure this university progresses efficiently and they deserve a break. Guaranteeing their children will receive an education seems good enough to me.

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