Kent students may lose grants

Ryan Loew

According to a report by the American Council on Education, about 90,000 of the five million Pell Grant recipients will lose their grants completely, and about one million students will see a reduction of about $100 to $300.

Mark Evans, the director of Student Financial Aid, estimated between 150 and 200 Kent State students may lose their grants entirely. He said about 2,400 to 2,500 students will see a decrease in grant money of about $100 to $200.

Evans said despite the national figures, only one-fourth of Kent State recipients will be impacted by the new formula to determine need.

“The majority of students who show the most financial need should not be affected,” Evans said. “The more money you make, the more you are affected. So really it affects families who are on the higher end of the financial spectrum.”

Changes will come into effect for the 2005-06 academic year. Approximately $300 million will be cut from the program.

Last Friday President Bush said he would ask Congress to raise the maximum Pell Grant award by $100 dollars for each year over the next five years. The current maximum award is $4,050. Despite the proposed increase to the nation’s most popular scholarship program, many students receiving closer to the minimum award of $400 may lose their grants.

The amount of money given to students is based on Expected Family Contribution, Evans said, and as family income increases, the amount of grant money awarded usually decreases.

Pat Myers, the director of government relations for the university, said the state of Ohio has been working to change the way it considers family income and align it closer to Federal Pell Grants.

“With the federal government’s last minute changes, this will make it harder for our most needy students,” she said. “It’s very disappointing that the federal government has fallen behind.”

Students losing grant money do have other options, said Harold Goldsmith, the vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.

“We’ll work with [students] to see if they’re qualified for any other kind of aid,” Goldsmith said. “Obviously for some students, it will mean they’ll have to borrow more money.”

Goldsmith said whether students will have to drop out due to less grant money would be on a “case to case basis.”

Evans agreed students will have other financial aid options available.

“Every student’s financial situation is different and unique,” he said. “To some students, a reduction of one to two hundred (dollars) in a Pell Grant, coupled with an expected increase in tuition and room and board, would require a student to seek more loan assistance. Regardless of the student’s situation there are financial aid options and programs available to assist students to continue their education.”

Contact administration reporter Ryan Loew at [email protected].