Having suffered from the effects of a tumultuous economy and drastic cuts to higher education, which ultimately resulted in a $13.1 million shortfall for the university in the 2009 fiscal year and a 9 percent tuition increase for students, CSU should laud the House of Representatives for doing something good — something that will benefit higher education.
The House voted 253-171 Friday to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which will ultimately make college more affordable to more Colorado students. And for this, we offer applause.
According to estimates by the House Education and Labor Committee, an extra $72.2 million in financial aid will go out to students within the 4th Congressional District –/this includes Fort Collins and other portions of the state –/and will save taxpayers $87 billion over the next decade.
The bill, which was supported by U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, will increase the number and dollar amount of Pell Grants –/federal, need-based scholarships — awarded in the coming years. And when we see the worth of the Pell Grants increase, from $5,500 to $6,900 over the next decade, as a result of this legislation, it is hoped that more students who are financially challenged will enroll in college.
With its benefits, which include investment in college access and completion programs, expansion of other loan programs, and its aim to keep interest rates low on need-based, federal loans, this act could push more people into academia by making a college degree more affordable in time.
CSU President Tony Frank had it right when he said more federal funding can only benefit the university.