Our View: Thanks for lending a hand, Kent State

DKS Editors

Kent State introduced a new scholarship program to recognize the potential to reduce federal and state financial aid for 2011-2012. The program, called the Kent State Scholarship Match Program, will match any outside scholarships that any incoming freshman receives up to $1,000.

Kent State has realized it has the ability to reduce the amount of money obtained from the federal government through financial aid such as Pell Grants, the primary federal college financial aid program. According to The Washington Post, President Obama’s proposed budget for 2012 would maintain a maximum award of $5,500 for more than 9 million students.

According to figures from braintrack.com, 28 percent of students at the Kent campus received an average of $2,850 from the federal Pell grant. Other federal grants were issued to 23 percent of students, averaging $1,361 per student.

It’s important the university acknowledges its responsibility to assist students in funding education. With the Ohio state budget decision still looming and President Lester Lefton lobbying for tuition cap removal, an increase in tuition seems to be on the horizon. In 2009, Kent State graduates accumulated an average of $26,700 of debt and 75 percent of students left the school in the red. If the university is reaching out to help reduce this amount, however small, it should be appreciated.

The program creates incentive for incoming students to look for scholarships from outside sources. According to Kent State, for the 2010-2011 academic year, the estimated tuition for Ohio residents attending the university was $9,030, only a few thousand dollars short of the price of a 2011 Kia Rio. Incoming Ohio freshmen who find $1,000 in outside scholarships will automatically cut their tuition by $2,000, and that is something for which we should thank Kent State.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.