Archive for March 4th, 2013

March 4, 2013

Sequester will cut thousands of college work study jobs

by Grace

Pell Grants won’t be affected, but other types of federal student aid and research funding will be cut as the result of the sequestration that took effect on March 1.

The impending federal budget cuts known as the sequester, which will go into effect on Friday without action by Congress, are poised to have a significantly negative effect on both public and private universities nationwide. Some forms of federal student aid and funding for a variety of research programs are likely to find themselves on the chopping block, according to the White House and university administrators.

Several critical revenue streams for universities are at risk: The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities are all subject to cuts that fall within both the 7.6 percent cut to mandatory spending and the 8.2 percent cut to discretionary spending.

Students’ tuition rates won’t go up, and Pell Grants are protected; but the federal work-study program and other scholarship sources, like the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, would be subject to the 8.2 percent cut.

Some examples of how that breaks down, according to the White House: 4,720 low-income students in Texas would lose federal financial aid; an estimated 2,370 college students in Iowa will lose federal college aid; 4,520 low-income college students in New York would lose money; 6,250 Florida low-income students and 9,600 in California would get hit.

On campuses, uncertainty reigns.

The ambiguity of how the sequester will affect student aid, jobs, and research is adding to a gloomy atmosphere for colleges and universities.  Estimates on the dollar amounts and number of students affected differ significantly depending on the source.

Some estimated numbers

It’s hard to pin down accurate numbers.

Arne Duncan:

“That ($86 million cut) would mean for the fall as many as 70,000 students would lose access to grants and to work-study opportunities,” Duncan said during the briefing….

Chronicle of Higher Education:

… programs like the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study would be cut by millions of dollars, eliminating more than 100,000 students from participation.

Meanwhile, here in New York we learned how the cuts will affect K-12 education.

The School Boards Association has detailed district-by-district predictions of how the $102 million in federal cuts would be spread out.

Federal grants make up roughly 8 percent of statewide education expenditures. Most school money comes from the state budget and local revenues, including property taxes.

My local school district is slated to lose $50,141 in federal aid.

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