The Student Aid Alliance, a coalition of 61 higher education organizations committed to protecting federal student aid programs, today unveiled a new website (www.studentaidalliance.org) to help students and higher education leaders make the case for protecting Pell Grants and other core federal student aid programs from drastic budget cuts.
The new site highlights student success stories, integrates the Student Aid Alliance’s new Facebook page and Twitter account provides an action center for contacting policy makers, and gives access to data on the prevalence of federal student aid by state and congressional district.
The new site is being launched as Congress continues to work on a budget deal for the current fiscal year. The House of Representatives passed legislation (H.R. 1) on Feb. 19 that deeply cuts the core student aid programs. HR 1 would reduce the maximum Pell Grant by 15 percent, which would impact more than 9 million low-income students, and eliminate the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Leveraging Education Assistance Partnerships (LEAP) programs.
A two-week stopgap funding bill signed by President Obama on March 2 eliminated LEAP, which is the seed money for at least $ 1 billion in state-provided aid across the country.
The federal budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year is still up in the air, and student aid is still on the table for more cuts.
“America will need a highly skilled workforce if our economy is to recover and thrive," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of ACE and co-chair of the Student Aid Alliance. "Federal student aid gives our nation's most needy students the means to access critical educational opportunities and become better prepared for the 21st century work environment. Student aid remains the best investment in human capital we can make as a society.”
“Federal student aid funding is at risk of being cut at the worst possible time for low-income students and the nation,” said David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and co-chair of the Student Aid Alliance. “Students and college leaders need to continue the drumbeat of support for student aid, explaining how important these funds are to low-income students, regional economies, and the future of the United States.”