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Monmouth University: Sequester Cuts Will Adversely Affect Student Loans, Aid For Low Income Students

University responds to proposed state education cuts

Monmouth University says it will suffer adverse effects from proposed education cuts in the state sequester.

Monmouth University Director of Public Affairs Petra Ludwig Shaw said the cuts would affect the university in several areas.

"Pell is protected for the 2013 fiscal year, but there currently is no protection in the out years," Shaw said.

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

"Student loan origination fees will increase from 1% to 1.076%," Shaw said. "For a first year student taking their maximum loans ($5500), previously the origination fee would have been $55, and the new fee would be $59. For grad students the take the maximum $20,500 the loan fee was previously $205 and the new fee will be $221."

Shaw said PLUS loan fees will go from 4% to 4.304%. PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses, according to U.S. Department of Education.

"Other aid programs such as a SEOG, FWS, TRIO, and GEAR UP could face 8.2% cuts; schools would see an 8.2% reduction in their annual allocation," Shaw said.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) can provide additional grant money to a student's financial aid package if he or she has demonstrated financial need, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Work Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

TRIO programs are designed to help low-income and first-generation Americans enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)
provides early awareness activities, academic support, and information to low-income students and their parents to encourage more young people to pursue postsecondary educational opportunities.

"This is particularly disconcerting, as SEOG is awarded to the neediest of the needy," Shaw said. "For SEOG and FWS, schools would face some decisions about whether to award fewer students the same average award, award the same number of students a lower award, or self-fund the cut and maintain the status quo."

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