Severe budget cuts leaves thousands in search of more aid

With the rise of tuition and fees and the decline in federal aid, many students and parents are finding it harder and harder to fund the college education they dream of, making finances one of the number one reasons students do not attend college after graduating high school, and why many students do not return for another semester of college.

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to budget cuts, also known as sequestration, of at least one trillion dollars in hopes of getting the United States out of a severe economic crisis, according to the USA Today.

In order to move forward with that goal, Congress has resorted to sequestration. The idea behind these budget cuts is to schedule cuts that will start in the future and make them so harmful to everyone that it would force Congress to implement better ways to control spending before the cuts actually take effect.

This will have a negative impact on many college undergraduates around the United States.

Many students are already in debt trying to afford school and the various costs that come along with a college education. Thousands of parents have applied for federal parent loans for their students as well.

“I receive plenty of financial aid to attend school, but I have noticed that since my freshman year I have received less money each semester, but not by a significant amount,” Junior Taylor Thompson said. “If the cuts continue to rise, I will have to put more effort into looking and applying for scholarships that are out there.”

While attending class, Taylor works at the call center for Georgia State University.

“Luckily my job gives workers a scholarship if we a class with a C+ or higher, so that mostly helps for summer school because I receive far less aid for my summer classes,” Thompson said.

Due to origination fees associated with the Federal Stafford Loan and parent loans, the amount of aid will decrease.

For example, if a student receives $3,500, the origination fee has risen by 1.05% meaning that the student pays $37, therefore leaving the student with only $3,463 on their loan.

Sequestration will also affect popular grants such as work study and the Federal Supplement Education Opportunity Grant, according to New American Foundation.

Due to sequestration, the budget for work-study has been cut by $49 million and with that amount this will eliminate at least 33,000 students from participating in the work-study program, according to United Stated Department of Education.

Many participants of the work-study program depend on those jobs to pay for basic college needs and expenses and without this program it will be more difficult to finance those expenses. The work-study program is being directly affected by the recent cuts, but individual colleges are trying to find alternate ways for students to stay in the program.

Sequestration has not only affected the work study program, but it has also had a severe impact on Title I, the nation’s oldest and largest federally funded program that serves to aid students at risk of failing and or living in poverty.

The cuts to Title I are part of a budget control act imitated in 2011. Each year, Title I provides over $14 billion to schools all over the United States, but this year Title I will be cut by $725 trillion, affecting 1.2 million disadvantaged students.

According to Bright Hub Education, of those 1.2 million disadvantaged students, roughly 10,000 of them will be in jeopardy of losing their jobs. The Title I budget cut is set to go into effect over the next ten years.

“Tuition costs are definitely going up,” Director of Financial Aid Louis Scott said. “HOPE has changed. It does not cover any fees and it only covers eighty-three percent of tuition. When the HOPE scholarship was implemented there were not nearly as many students receiving HOPE. With the changes in the economy, older people are re-enrolling in school.”

He also commented on the fact that Pell Grant has changed as well.

“For two years, students could receive the Pell Grant for the fall, spring and summer semester. Now, students cannot get aid for three semesters. If they accepted the entire amount of Pell Grant for fall and spring they cannot receive the full amount for summer classes.”

Scott was quite clear that tuition will continue to rise, but it will not reach a point where it is completely unaffordable.

He also gave some ways that students could cut back on costs and tuition with the recent budget cuts.

He recommended that students think about if they would really like to live on campus or not, to be proactive and look for scholarships, both internal and external scholarships and to apply early for grants and work study programs and various programs that theuniversity offers.

1 Comment

  1. Thats looks one step ahead in terms of the growth in education, i hope new organization comes up with some great ideas with donation to make the education more expandable.

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