Award program fills gap

Allison Smith

President Lester Lefton announced last week a new assisstance award to help students who are losing money in the Ohio College Opportunity Grant.

Seven-thousand students at Kent State campuses who were receiving a OCOG of up to $2,500 will be losing almost $1,500, and Lefton said he sees their need.

Mark Evans, director of student aid, said the Ohio Board of Regents notified Kent State that the maximum amount of OCOG students can receive is now $1,008.

Evans said, under the new program, Kent State will allocate more than $2 million toward a new award program.

While students at regional campuses are not eligible for the assistance, the President’s Assistance Award will be automatically awarded to students at the main campus who were receiving OCOG.

“We’re estimating that that money is budgeted to about half of the group, about 1,900 students, with the awards ranging from $500 to $1,000,” Evans said. “This does not cover the entire reduction. This is just to help as many students as we can.”

Evans said financial aid office has identified students who have significantly relied on OCOG in the past and were expecting to continue relying on it in the future.

“This week we are making those awards so that when the bills are produced, students will see the reduction in the state award,” Evans said. “For some folks, they will see the President’s Assisstance Award.”

Lefton said in order to fund the President’s Assistance Award, he is not going to do some of the things he had planned on doing for the university.

Contact principal reporter Allison Smith at [email protected].