Cut high costs, not financial assistance

WHAT’S LEFT by Allisa Stietha

Those days when you got money thrown at you to go to college are gone. Money for college is almost impossible to come by, and now Congress is working to cut even more money from the already limited supply of federal aid for higher education. College students are taking the hit for the government’s deficit, and scholarships and grants will be the first benefits to disappear.

The first two funds to be cut would be the Pell Grant and the TRIO program, which assists college students in difficult situations — such as being from a low-income family — continue on to higher education. The Pell Grant is federal money that students get based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms. Both are need-based, so cutting them would reduce the ability of low-income students to go on to a higher education.

If we are going to cut spending, take it from universities’ paper funds. Paperlessness has become a fad in schools, so why not just make it mandatory?

This would save universities the money it takes to have reams of paper on reserve for research papers as well as reduce the amount of waste the university has to pay to be taken away weekly.  It may be annoying at first with the hassle of professors not using their red pens or having to sift through excessive files on their computer until the system is less flawed, but it would be the simplest change.

While paperlessness is just one way to cut costs, the idea still stands. Why cut funding to send students to school when you can simply change what they do in school? The majority of students would not be attending school without work-study positions of some kind.

The government does need to cut spending, yes, but why not in another area? Instead of taking students out of colleges because they cannot get scholarships, promote paperlessness and other cost-cutting initiatives, and encourage jobs in information technology work or with computers. Give students a chance to better their future and not be stuck working in a fast-food drive-through.

One can only wonder what those Harvard Law School graduates on the super committee had to do in order to get through school. If only they could try and get into school now with limited financial aid, knowing it could be cut even more.


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