Petition begun to support federal financial aid

Western Today staff

Nearly 100,000 people have signed a statement of support for federal student aid designed by The Student Aid Alliance, a group of 62 higher education organizations. The alliance, which is devoted to preserving and advocating for federal student aid, has launched a campaign in support of federal student aid programs, and the kick-off of the campaign is a statement of support developed in light of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

The statement has the support of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, of which Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard is secretary-treasurer. AASCU is among the members of the Student Aid Alliance.

The statement:

Our nation sorely needs to power up its economic engine. Work force projections show that by 2018, there will be jobs for as many as 22 million new workers with college degrees, but on our current trajectory, we won’t make that goal—in fact we’ll miss it by 3 million workers.

Recent budget deals have already cut $30 billion from the student aid programs, sacrificing some students’ benefits to pay for others. States across the country are cutting higher education from their own budgets.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to preserve, protect and provide adequate funding for the core federal student aid programs—such as Pell Grants and student loan benefits. Together, these programs offer students an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills our nation demands for a strong recovery.

Tough budget decisions in DC have put pressure on all federal spending, but cutting student aid, a long-term investment in our nation’s future, doesn’t make sense.

I support protecting federal student aid. Keep college within reach for our nation’s students and families.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 8:12am