Sequester will affect colleges2 min read

Nathan Mitchell

The U.S. government capped its budget on March 1 in a process called sequestration which forced across-the-board reductions totaling $85 billion.
While defense spending bore more than half of the cuts, the sequester affected a wide range of domestic programs including renewable energy development, air traffic control and education.
“California will lose approximately $87.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education,” eliminating financial aid for around 9,600 low income students and about 3,690 fewer work-study jobs, according to a White House assessment
of the sequestration.
But students would not see reductions in federal financial aid until the next academic year starts in the fall, since the government already apportioned this year’s aid.
Federal Pell grants passed unscathed, although fees will increase for some loans such as Stafford and PLUS loans, according to a report by the Congressional
Research Service.
For Pell grants to avoid reduction is “great news as De Anza College provided about $14 million in financial aid to our students last year (2011/12) and we anticipate providing about the same amount in 2012/13,” Bret Watson, director of budget and personnel at
De Anza, wrote in an email.
“We would see cuts to the federal work-study program and federal supplemental educational opportunity grant program of 5.1 percent in (fiscal year) 2013/14 and 8.2 percent in 2014/15,” he wrote.
This translates to reductions for the next academic year of approximately $16,000 for the work study program and almost $17,000 from the opportunity grant, Watson wrote. The programs would be reduced by $26,000 and $27,000, respectively, in subsequent years.
San Jose State University estimates it will lose about $130,000 in federal financial aid, said Pat Lopes Harris, media relations director at
the college.
“We do not know exactly how many students will be affected, when the cuts will be made, or whether the university will find another source of funds,”
she said.
In a March 3 Washington Post article, Kimberly Kindy and Rosalind S. Helderman write that legislators are not focusing on reversing the sequester, but on averting a possible financial shutdown of the federal government on March 27.
The sequester resulted from a provision in the Budget Control Act of 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
 

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