News: Archived Blogs (2017 and older)

"SEOG is a crucial piece of the financial aid puzzle"

Tuesday, June 6, 2017  
Posted by: Allie Ciaramella, Communications Manager
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President Trump's 2018 budget proposal includes drastic cuts to the U.S. Department of Education (ED): $10.6 billion in reductions to federal education initiatives. Among them are the elimination of Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps; elimination of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF); a $3.9 billion reduction from the Pell Grant program reserve fund, with the inflationary adjustment eliminated; and $487 million, or almost half of funding, slashed from Federal Work-Study.

The following stories from NCAN members highlight the importance of this funding -- and SEOG in particular -- to college access programs and the students they serve. The Trump Administration says these programs are "duplicative," but for low-income students, every dollar counts when piecing together a financial aid package.


"Without federal aid, Jennifer will never be able to finish her associate degree"

From Kerry Coleman-Proksch, Northern Virginia Community College Pathway to the Baccalaureate:

Sixty-three percent of Pathway students report an annual family income of less than half the median family income in the Northern Virginia region, so the Pell and SEOG grants are critical to our students staying in college and graduating with an associate degree.

My student, Jennifer, has no extra money to pay for classes without receiving the Pell grant and SEOG. She works full-time to support her mother, sister, and her sister’s children. Without federal aid, Jennifer will never be able to finish her associate degree and transfer to complete her bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

No matter what federal funding my students receive, they all need it and couldn’t go to school without it.


"Our recipients still had an average unfunded gap"

From Elizabeth Day, College Now Greater Cleveland:

Thirty-four percent of College Now scholarship recipients received SEOG with an average award amount of $1,100 for the 2015-16 school year.

SEOG is a crucial piece of the financial aid puzzle, but even WITH this student aid, our recipients still had an average unfunded gap of $5,629 for 15-16.

Taking away SEOG would only increase the financial burden on low-income students, making it harder for them to complete postsecondary education.


"They rely on this renewing every year"

From Robbie Stabeno, WACO Foundation's MAC Program

All of our 583 students this year were eligible for some Pell, and half of those are eligible for full Pell.

This makes all of them eligible for SEOG, but since funds are limited, approximately a third of our students receive the SEOG grant to help with tuition and living expenses, and they rely on this renewing every year.


For first-gen students, every dollar counts

From Lindsey Wolf, College Forward:

[Under proposed SEOG cuts], 206 first-generation college students in our program would stand to lose $181,890 in federal aid.