Budget Battles Slash Financial Aid
TULSA, OK. (CollegetoCareers.com) – Looming budget battles continue to target state-funded college financial aid packages, including loans, grants and scholarships.
Oklahoma’s students could be the next to suffer from dicey decisions by lawmakers to reverse huge budget shortfalls.
The latest college poised to suffer the effects of recent cutbacks in student financial aid: Tulsa Community College.
More than a fourth of all Tulsa Community College students pay for their education with Pell grants, Newson6.com reports. Threats from the Republican-controlled Congress to cut national Pell grants would force approximately 25 percent of all students to find other ways to pay for their education.
The news service reports that students like Shalan Velez, who attends Tulsa Community College, would feel compelled to find other funding sources and take on extra workloads.
Velez said that she would need to cut back on her class schedule and forfeit an earlier graduation as a result of the loss in funding for Pell grants.
She added that she and her family subsist on food stamps, and that the inability to continue her education would force her to cut back on her educational goals.
The current proposal in Congress would only reduce, not eliminate Pell grants. If the Senate adopts the measure passed by the House of Representatives, students could face a loss as large as $850 per year or their funding for Cal Grants altogether.
These cuts come on the heel of a budget proposal by President Barack Obama that would strip $100 billion from funding Pell grants – something that leaves many students wondering about the future of their college degrees.
Still, many students remain eligible for financial aid outside of Pell grants. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, matches a student’s financial need and family history with available federal financial aid.
Students who are interested in submitting their FAFSAs should apply quickly, as deadlines for competitive aid, such as Pell grants, will soon end. The application is available at www.fafsa.gov.