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New faces in Financial Aid

One of the bigger challenges for many parents is helping their students pay for college.  This year the St. Bonaventure University Financial Aid office has two new but experienced professionals to help families deal with questions and situations concerning financial aid.

Troy MartinMeet Troy Martin
Troy Martin joined St. Bonaventure in August as the new financial aid director.  He has worked in the financial aid profession for 27 years; most recently as the director of student financial services at Houghton College which is located about an hour east of St. Bonaventure.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Houghton College and graduated with his MBA from the University at Buffalo.

Eric DanielsonMeet Eric Danielson
Eric Danielson became the new assistant director of financial aid in August.   Like Martin, he has plenty of experience in higher education.  He has worked in the St. Bonaventure Admissions Office since 2005, most recently as the assistant director of admissions.   He graduated from Gettysburg College and received a Masters in English from St. Bona’s.

Both Martin and Danielson understand that paying for college is often a major concern for families.  They offered some tips and advice for parents who are concerned or have questions about the financial aid process.

  • Martin said that the US Department of Education has made some recent improvements to the FAFSA process.   They now offer a data retrieval tool with the IRS.  This means that if parents have their income taxes submitted at the time they complete the on-line FAFSA, they can request their tax information be automatically loaded into the FAFSA from the IRS.  By taking advantage of this tool, it should help cut down on errors and also reduce the number of forms selected for verification.   Martin encourages parents to file their taxes as early as possible and suggested April 1 as the deadline for current students to submit the FAFSA.
  • It is important to remember that the SBU merit scholarships are renewable for up to four years as long as the student maintains an acceptable grade point average.  Danielson said this is very helpful in planning as families consider the total costs for the four years of undergraduate studies.
  • Some families may not be aware that SBU offers monthly payment plans through Sallie Mae and Tuition Management Systems.  Martin indicated that many families find it much easier to budget a monthly payment for the college bill rather than trying to pay a lump sum prior to each semester.
  • If a family needs to take out a loan to help pay for school, Danielson suggested students and their parents explore all federal student loan options first because they provide the best interest rate and repayment options.
  • Even though the federal deficit is a huge concern, need-based financial assistance from the state and federal governments has fortunately remained fairly stable over the last few years, Martin said.  Congress is more aware than ever of how important an education is for students during these difficult economic times.
  • Martin also said one thing many families often forget about is the education tax credit that is available to most families who have a student in college.  The tax credit is not financial aid, but it allows families to reduce their taxes by up to $2,500 per year in the form of a tax credit. 

Martin and Danielson both reiterated that they see their roles as assisting families with the financial aid process and helping students to receive all of the aid for which they are eligible.  If parents have concerns about financial aid, Martin and Danielson said they and their staff members are happy to answer any questions.  The phone number for the financial aid office is 716-375-2528.

-Robbie Chulick
Class of 2013

Freshman Class Officers

The Wellness Center

College can take an emotional and physical toll on new students. Transition hardships are inevitable during the college experience. Students can get bogged down with the responsibilities of living away from home. Cold and flu season is upon us. The Wellness Center at St. Bonaventure University can help with any of these issues.

The Wellness Center provides health and counseling services Monday through Friday.The center also works with the staff of the Sandra A. and William L. Richter Center, encouraging students to stay active and healthy.

Danielle Dorchak, secretary at the Wellness Center, said she sees a lot of students each day. The Wellness Center provides a relaxed atmosphere welcoming walk-ins and those who call for appointments. All appointments are confidential.

“I feel comfortable going to the Wellness Center whenever I’m feeling sick,” says Gabrielle Filliberti, a sophomore education major.

Students who are feeling under the weather can use the walk-in hours or schedule appointments with an on-campus health care provider. If necessary, students will be referred to a local health care specialist or to the Immediate Treatment Center at Olean General Hospital.

The Counseling Center encourages students to talk openly to any one of the counselors. Counselors offer individual and group sessions, consultation and assessment, crisis intervention, prevention and education.

Counselors encourage students to set a face-to-face meeting when they need to discuss personal matters. Students also have the option of contacting a counselor through email.

Students can schedule appointments for any of the services offered by the Wellness Center in several ways. Appointments can be scheduled online or via telephone. The fastest way is to visit their office on the first floor of Doyle Hall to schedule the appointment in person.

The Center also offers Stress-Free Evenings, giving students the opportunity to make new friends and relax amongst the busyness of college life. Fliers are posted around campus for the events, which occur in the Shay-Loughlen lounge area.

Center staff is available via email at or via phone at 716-375-2310.

-Marissa Bruno
Class of 2014

Is your student staying on campus over Thanksgiving Break?

All students who are staying behind over Thanksgiving Break are welcomed to a warm, home-cooked meal with music and entertainment from 12-2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24, at 361 Front Street, Olean. This dinner is sponsored by Bona alumna Ellen Herner, '00. She may be reached via text message or voice. Space is limited, so please have your student contact her today to make a reservation at 716-378-1050.

University 101 classes show their stuff

Nobody knows Conor Grennan’s novel “Little Princes” better than SBU’s Class of 2015. On Nov. 15, Freshman University101 classes had the chance to show what they knew at the All Bonaventure Reads Poster Conference.

FYE Poster PresentationsIn Doyle Hall’s Dining and Trustees Rooms, tables lined the walls. Each class had its own table to display whatever aspect of “Little Princes” the students had chosen to further explore.

Some classes opted for the traditional poster board, showcasing a topic derived from “Little Princes.” Creative ideas and concepts covered the poster boards and tri-folds, expressing ideas in a concise way.

Professor Ann Tenglund’s class of Biology majors explored how the United States and Nepal are different through their medicinal techniques, or lack thereof in Nepal’s case. Professor Jean Ehman’s students did something similar; comparing how the United States reacts when children go missing with how the Nepalese handled it. The group illustrated just how different it was, using video and posters to prove their point.

Professor John Stevens’ students created a “Jeopardy” game for visitors to play. Categories for their game consisted of topics like economics, war facts, Nepal today, culture, socialization and etiquette and miscellaneous.

The students in Professor Larry Sorokes’ class knew how to win the crowd over. Their table featured some of the finest Nepalese dishes, ready to be enjoyed by any visitor at their table.

“We started making the food at around 12,” said Parker Bure, an environmental science major and a student in Sorokes’ class. His class had an advantage with Sorokes as their professor because The Warming House was available for them to use to cook the food. Dal Bhat was among the cuisine, as was peanut salsa and spiced tea.

“People really liked the peanut salsa,” Bure said.

It was a night for the Class of 2015 freshmen to discuss and bond over something each of them had in common.

“It was neat to observe how different sections interpreted ‘Little Princes’– often based upon the major of a section’s students,’” said Ehman. “Great thought and creativity were applied to many of the renditions, and – from my observations – students, faculty, administrators and staff in attendance enjoyed the presentation variety plus the fellowship of the Class of 2015.”

-Emily Steves
Class of 2015

Do you have something to celebrate? Birthday? End of semester? Want to wish your Bona student good luck on finals? Whatever the occassion, you can order a homemade cake for your student, delivered to campus! Click here for more information.

Upcoming events on campus include:

Ongoing - Math Lab for students needing assistance in math
Friday-Saturday, November 18-19 - Men's Overnight at Mt. Irenaeus
Saturday-Sunday, November 19-20 - Women's Overnight at Mt. Irenaeus
Sunday, November 20 - BonaResponds Workday
Wednesday-Sunday, November 23-27 - Thanksgiving Break


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