Wed February 27, 2013
Private College Students Lobby For More State Aid
Students from private colleges around the state are at the Capitol today to lobby state legislators for more financial aid funding.
Funding for college tuition assistance has remained flat in the last few state budgets, and students like Sian Cunningham, a freshman at Beloit College, say it needs a boost.
“There are a lot of students who are fully qualified for it yet they are turned away because there's not enough funding for it,” said Cunningham. “I believe this is really important because I come from a family of seven and there are five kids in my family, and so even a little bit of help is great.”
The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities organized today's gathering. President Rolf Wegenke says he is happy that funding for financial aid has not been cut in the upcoming budget; however, he also says the amount of aid available is not enough.
“It's level-funded in last biennium and this biennium — although need is growing,” says Wegenke. “The amount of student need has grown in all sectors by 54 percent in just one year. 54 percent is a huge number, that's thousands and thousands of students who have greater need.”
The Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board reports that over 76,000 Wisconsin students who qualify for financial aid have been turned away due to lack of funds.