Posted by: rcieri | September 24, 2008

Elon study abroad, business majors affected by financial crisis

By Rachel Cieri

September 24, 2008

With a proposed bailout of the financial sector on the table for Congress, even students as far from Washington as Elon, N.C. are affected.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and the Bush administration are urging Congress to approve a $700 billion relief plan for the failing financial sector, which is equal to $2,333 per American.

The controversial plan has overshadowed every other issue in the political scene this week, bringing concern from liberals and conservatives alike. Liberals argue that middle- and lower- class citizens will be hurt the bailout while larger businesses will benefit, and conservatives view it as an intrusion into the private sector.

Twenty-six firms tied most closely to the economic collapse are being investigated by the FBI.

Rising exchange rates for study abroad

Dean of International Programs at Elon University Larry Basirico has already seen the impact that the falling economy has had on international exchange rates and students studying abroad.

“If it stays this way for a while I think we’ll begin to see more of an effect next year. We’ve had a decrease in Winter Term enrollment of about 40 students, and we’ve had 10 students who have had to drop because they couldn’t get sufficient scholarship money,” said Basirico. “That’s the first time that we’ve ever had that many drop.”

Waitlisted students typically apply to their second choice programs by this point in the semester, but there was a decrease in this trend as well.

“If you figure families being hit by the economic conditions plus the increased cost of the courses, it can’t have a positive impact or benefit on our study abroad,” Basirico said.

Business students provide insight

Junior Business Fellow Summer Curtiss had just traveled to New York and seen the chaos of the financial crisis first hand. Although she believes that the government should typically not interfere with the private sector, she thinks there should be a short-term solution.

“Obviously its going to be a problem for inflation because once we keep putting in money, our dollar worth is going to go down,” Curtiss said.

She believes that if the economy stays this way through next year, she will be less likely to find a well-paying job. She hopes that her networking and connections will come in handy, however, and she is primarily concerned about business majors with finance concentrations.

Senior accounting major Rebecca Hampton expects that the “credit crunch” will get even worse if the government does not intervene in the economy. Her major concern is the supervision of the massive loans that would be given out.

“It’s not necessarily fair, but I think at this point, the government has to do something,” said Hampton.


Dean Basirico discusses the affects of the financial crisis on foreign exchange rates and study abroad:




  1. You did OK for a start. You’ll get better at the 60-minute assignment after you have done it a few times. It was good to talk with Larry Basirico, because at Elon one of the ways we may definitely see an impact is in the study abroad program. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished piece!

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