In today’s economy, that leaves college students graduating with an average of $25,000 in debt, the Student Aid Alliance (SAA) is asking congress to protect pell grants and other federal aid programs during the fiscal year 2012 budget.
The Student Aid Alliance is a group of higher education organizations that support federal aid programs like Pell Grants, campus based programs that help students graduate, and loan programs.
Co-Chairmen of the SAA Molly Corbett Broad and David Warren sent a letter May 18 of their funding requests to senate members on behalf of the millions of students, parents, and colleges they represent.
The SAA states that providing financial support for individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford college helps benefit the economy as a whole.
“Without the continued strong partnership between the federal government, states, institutions and families, millions of students will not be able to go to college and our country will be deprived of the talent pool needed to secure future national progress and prosperity,” Broad and Warren state in their request.
Last year, the budget for student aid programs was lowered by $30 billion. The first two requests listed in the SAA’s request are for providing funding for grants that students would not have to pay back.
Their requests include maintaining the maximum Pell Grant award at $5,550 for low income students with the highest needs, and restoring the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.
“The Pell grant and other scholarships offered to me helped so much in regards to my development as a student, as well as to reinforce my dream of becoming a health care provider,” Roxy Mabry wrote in her student story on the SAA website.
Other requests include funding the Federal Work-Study Program at $980.5 million.
“My successful journey through education thus far would not have been possible without the help of federal financial aid,” wrote Sharon Xi in her student story.
For more information on the SAA or to support their work, visit: http://action.studentaidalliance.org/5371/save-student-aid-statement-support/?src=student