VIDEO: Federal Student Aid Takes Major Cuts in Fall 2011

May 5, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Jefferson Johnson
jwjohnson@mail.smu.edu

In 1998 the federal government amended the higher education act of 1965.

Allowing lower-income students an opportunity to an education through financial aid.

“The purpose of financial aid is to provide a means for students to attend college if they don’t have the funds to pay for it,” said Marcia Miller from SMU’s Enrollment Services Financial Aid.

According to Miller, of the 10,000 students enrolled at SMU around 75 percent receive financial aid this includes scholarships and grants

“For the students that are on financial aid, it’s invaluable without it there are students that will not be here,” Miller said.

Students like SMU junior Samira Abderahman need aid.

“I receive a lot of grants we have also taken some loans, luckily they haven’t been anything outrageous,” Abderahman said.

But as Spring 2011 ends incoming and undergraduate students are faced with tough financial decisions as recent state and federal budget cuts cut into Fall 2011 financial aid funding…

“Some students are going to have to make some hard choices,” Miller said. “Which means, students that might desire to go to SMU are going to end up at a state school somewhere.”

But with a yearly $37,000 price tag, SMU isn’t so cheap.

Miller said it’s the students in the middle whose parents and themselves will have to take on more of the financial burden.

“I won’t be here should my financial aid be significantly reduced,” Abderahman said.

Miller said in the coming semesters it will be first come first served.

Students can avoid being cut out by keeping financial aid deadlines and staying up-to-date on paperwork and changes.

New Education Budget Cuts Mean Less For Low-Income College Students

March 9, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Kimmy Ryan
kryan@smu.edu

Proposed Budget Cuts from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

President Obama is proposing to cut 100 billion dollars in Pell Grants and other federal education programs.

Pell Grants help more than nine million low-income students each year. With a large increase in recipients in the past few years, the Pell Grant Program faces a $20 billion funding shortfall.

The proposed cuts means fewer students will receive the grants, but those who are eligible will receive the maximum award of $5,500 per school year. Students will no longer be able to receive two grants in one year, both a summer school and school year grant. Savings from these cuts would be $60 billion in ten years.

Graduate and professional school students will also face changes. The graduate student debt burden will increase due to changes in loan subsidies. These cuts will save the federal goverment $29 billion in ten years.

Students will be greatly affected by these budget cuts: college tuitions are rising across the United States and need-based grants are being cut.

Freshman Focus: Financial Aid

August 24, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Who doesn’t want free money? Watch and learn the basics of financial aid and FAFSA and what every student needs to tap into this resource.

Freshman Focus: Financial Aid from SMUDailyMustang.com on Vimeo.

Campus News Blog: Government Might Simplify FAFSA … Finally!

April 16, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Rachael Morgan

Forty percent of all college students don’t submit the FAFSA form each year. This form gives colleges financial information that helps them give need-based financial aid. What’s one big reason why students fail to complete the form?

The Ithacan Online says it is the six page form that includes over 100 questions and can take over an hour to fill out.

The Ithacan Online gives other reasons, too. Many of the questions only affect a small percentage of applicants. Sometimes schools don’t give final options for need-based financial aid until after the applicants have to make their decision because of the complex formulas. Students often just won’t enroll at all.

The Department of Education is considering simplifying the FAFSA application by pre-entering information so that more people will apply for financial aid, and then more people will end up enrolling in colleges. Two ways to do it could be pre-entering information from families’ tax returns and using simpler formulas to determine need.

I definitely wish they had simplified it when I filled it out a few months ago. Simplifying the form could get more people to take the chance and fill it out, as well as possibly make it easier to get aid because of the new formulas. Both would help in this economy.